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Archives 03-26-2008

News

Winter refuses to go away quietly
County entities receive thousands in grants

State revenues below budget in February
Pickett County highest in unemployment

 

Winter refuses to go away quietly

Darren Oliver photo
Snow on a daffodil early Monday morning is a strong sign that winter weather refuses to go away despite the calendar saying spring started last Thursday. Snow in March isn’t unusual, and a heavy snow in March is always a possibility. County Historian Ronald Dishman found an old newspaper article telling of Miss Lily Dale running across an old book that belonged to her father, A.L. Dale, in which he recorded the weather of many years past. The book was “A Life at Its Best”, a story of Paul the Apostle. On the fly sheet of the book he wrote an entry that states, “On March 19, 1886 there was a heavy snow; 19 inches deep.”


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County entities receive thousands in grants

Beth Underwood photo

Enhancement grants totalling $26,750 were awarded to various non-profit organizations on Monday, March 24. Representative John Mark Windle presented the grant money, accompanied by State Senator Charlotte Burks. The funds were presented to 27 organizations, including Independence Community Center, Rickman Community Center, Mountain Fire and Rescue, Overton County Rescue Squad, Overton County Senior Citizens, Overton County 4-H Club, Overton County Mule Pulling Association, Overton County Ag Complex, Hardys Chapel Community Center, Hardys Chapel Senior Citizens, Hammer Stephens Child Abuse Center, Allons Senior Citizens, Overton County History Museum, Rickman Park, City of Livingston Park, Future Farmers of America, Monroe Senior Citizens Center, Livingston Friends of the Library, City of Livingston Courthouse Square, Pacesetters, Farm Safety Day, Crawford Community Center, Hanging Limb Horse Show, Timothy Community Center, Twin Community Park, Overton County Soil Conservation District, and Alpine Community Center.

“Everybody on this list is a volunteer of some kind,” Windle said. “I think that says a lot about where we live.”

 

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State revenues below budget in February

Lower than projected sales tax collections brought total tax revenues below the amount budgeted for February, according to Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz.

Overall revenues for February were $728.3 million or $20.8 million less than the state budgeted.

“With sales tax collections trending down for the last two months, we are looking to see if business taxes in March and April will help support our budget,” Goetz said. “We may have to look for more savings in the current fiscal year, but we have faced tougher conditions and managed our way through.”

On an accrual basis, February is the seventh month in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

The general fund was undercollected by $28.2 million, and the four other funds were overcollected by $7.4 million.

Sales tax collections were $18.4 million less than the estimate for February. The February growth rate was a negative 0.92%. The year-to-date growth rate for seven months is 1.97%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $5.9 million below the budgeted estimate of $44.1 million. For seven months revenues are undercollected by $41.6 million.

Gasoline and motor fuel collections for February increased by 10.96%. For seven months revenues are overcollected by $9.6 million.

Tobacco tax collections were $2.8 million under the budgeted estimate of $25.9 million. For seven months revenues are under collected in the amount of $46.5 million.

Year-to-date collections for seven months were $203.0 million less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was undercollected by $211.5 million and the four other funds were overcollected by $8.5 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2007-2008 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the first session of the 105th General Assembly in June 2007.

The revised estimates for this fiscal year as presented in the 2008-2009 budget document assumes an undercollection in total taxes in the amount of $165.4 million. By tax source the assumed undercollections are: Sales tax $62.8 million; F&E taxes $54.8 million; tobacco taxes $30.0 million, privilege taxes $27.6 million; and, a net over collection of $9.8 million from all other tax sources. The General Fund undercollection is projected to be $180.0 million.

 

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Pickett County highest in unemployment

Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2008 was released last week at 4.9%, 0.1% lower than the revised December 2007 rate of 5%. The United States unemployment rate for the month of January was also 4.9%.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for January 2008 show that 89 counties increased, the rate decreased in 4 counties, and remained the same in 2 counties. County unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal expansions and layoffs that occur during the year. The state and U.S. unemployment rates are seasonally adjusted to eliminate normal seasonal fluctuations and to indicate a more accurate measurement of actual economic change.

Pickett County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 10.7%, up from 9.5 in December. Pickett had 200 unemployed of a workforce of 1,880.

Overton County’s unemployment rate went up from 7.7% in December to 8.1 in January. Overton had 820 unemployed of a workforce of 10,140.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, along with Putnam County and Jackson County. The Cookeville MSA rose from 5.6 in December to 6%, with 3,020 unemployed of a workforce of 50,190.

Jackson County’s unemployment rate was 7.5%, up from 6.3 in December.

Jackson had 380 unemployed of a workforce of 5,070.

Putnam County’s unemployment rate went up from 4.8 in December to 5.2%. Putnam had 1,820 unemployed of a workforce of 34,970.

Clay County’s unemployment rate was the 3rd highest in the state at 9.9%, up from 9.1 in December. Clay had 340 unemployed of a workforce of 3,450.

Fentress County’s unemployment rate was 8.4%, up from 7.1 in December. Fentress had 660 unemployed of a workforce of 7,850.

Unemployment information is available online at www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/january2008county.pdf.







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Overton County News
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