State given top honors in nationwide fiscal rankings
(NASHVILLE) — State Representative Billy Spivey (R–Lewisburg) joined with legislative leaders today to announce that Fitch Ratings, one of the country’s top bond agencies, has officially named Tennessee the lowest debt state in the nation.
The news, which was released by Fitch earlier this week, is based on an analysis of total debt ratios in all 50 states. The calculation is measured by combining each state’s total debt and unfunded liabilities and measuring them against the state’s average individual income level.
The special report from Fitch revealed that the median level for states’ combined debt measures 7.0% of 2012 personal income. Tennessee’s was lowest at 1.8 percent. The nation’s highest percentage was Illinois at 24.8 percent.
“This news is another major indicator of our state’s stable fiscal environment,” said Representative Billy Spivey. “While Washington and other states around the country are broken, Tennessee is truly doing things right.”
Fitch plans to use the debt ratios as a factor in evaluating states’ credit ratings. Favorable ratings from Fitch and the other rating agencies means lower interest rates when the state borrows money, resulting in big savings for taxpayers across the board.
“This is excellent news for our state, and shows that Tennessee is on the right track,” said Speaker Beth Harwell (R–Nashville). “I appreciate the hard work of Representative Spivey and other legislative leaders who are committed to our goal of becoming the #1 destination in the country for high quality jobs.”
Billy Spivey is a member of the House State Government Committee and House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee. He lives in Lewisburg and represents District 92, which includes all of Marshall and portions of Lincoln, Franklin, and Marion Counties.