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Archives 09-02-2009

News

No more flooding?
Blackout hits area Sunday evening
State revenue collections continue to decline

Governor requests agricultural natural disaster designation
Unemployment rate lowers to 14.5% in July

No more flooding?


Dewain E. Peek photo
This rainbow appeared over Livingston on Friday, Aug. 28. Could it mean no more flooding in Livingston?


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Blackout hits area Sunday evening
More than 80% of Overton County and all of Pickett County were left in the dark after a blackout Sunday evening, Aug. 30.

The power outage struck at 5:12 p.m. and power was completely restored some 4 hours later. Pickett County’s power was restored around 8 p.m., and Overton County was brought online an hour later.

The blackout was caused by a TVA relay component at the Livingston substation that failed, according to TVA. Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC) and Volunteer Electric assisted TVA in the restoration efforts. TVA personnel came from Gallatin, Lebanon, and the Oak Ridge area to work on the problem.



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State revenue collections continue to decline
State tax revenues continued to decline in July, making it the first time in Tennessee history the state has experienced a full year of negative growth.

Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz reported July revenue collections on August 11, pointing to sales tax collections which have experienced negative growth for 17 out of the past 19 months when compared to the year before.

“Franchise and excise tax collections showed positive growth for July, but all the over collection resulted from significant one-time payments, not from an upswing in economic activity in Tennessee,” Goetz said. “We continue to strictly monitor revenue collections and our expenditures in order to maintain a balanced budget.”

Overall July revenues were $815 million, or $61.8 million less than the state budgeted.

On an accrual basis, July is the 12th month in the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

The general fund was under collected by $47.5 million, and the four other funds were under collected by $14.3 million.

Sales tax collections were $81.3 million less than the estimate for July. The July growth rate was negative 10.88%. For 12 months revenues are undercollected by $687.9 million. The year-to-date growth rate for 12 months was negative 7.66%.

Franchise and excise taxes combined were $27.1 million over the budgeted
estimate of $53.8 million. The growth rate for July was 52.25%. For 12 months revenues are under collected by $295.4 million and the year-to-date growth rate was negative 17.07%.

Inheritance and estate tax collections were $100,000 above the July
estimate. For 12 months collections are $12.2 million below the budgeted estimate.

Privilege tax collections were $4.8 million below the July budgeted
estimate. For 12 months collections are $61.7 million less than the budgeted estimate. The year-to date growth rate was negative 18.65%.

Tobacco tax collections were $1.5 million below the budgeted estimate of $25 million. For 12 months revenues are under collected by $25.8 million.
Gasoline and motor fuel tax collections for July increased by 2.85%. For 12 months revenues are under collected by $46 million.

Year-to-date collections for 12 months were $1.2 billion less than the budgeted estimate. The general fund was under collected by $1.095 billion, and the four other funds were under collected by $113 million.

The budgeted revenue estimates are based on the State Funding Board’s recommendation adopted by the 105th General Assembly in May 2008.


Governor requests agricultural natural disaster designation
Governor Phil Bredesen requested Tuesday, Aug. 25 a federal designation of natural disaster for agriculture for Overton County as a result of excessive rain and flooding that occurred in July.

“A disaster designation is important for making federal assistance available to farmers who experienced significant losses last month due to heavy rains and flooding,” Gov. Bredesen said. “I’m glad to make this request and hope it will help these farmers recover from this isolated storm event.”

Bredesen made the request in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. A disaster designation would make farmers in Overton and adjoining counties eligible to apply for assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency. Qualifying farmers are eligible for emergency loans, livestock assistance, and supplemental farm payments as provided by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.

Overton County farmers suffered crop losses reported in excess of 30% in some cases as a result of heavy rain and flooding that occurred July 15 and 16. The area received as much as 9 inches of rainfall. Farmers also reported significant damage to farm equipment and structures.

Statewide, farmers are reporting mostly favorable growing conditions this year with more than 75% of corn, cotton, soybeans, tobacco, and pastures rated in good to excellent condition. For a weekly report on crop conditions across the state visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn. U.S. Department of Agriculture makes this report available each Monday at 3 p.m. CDT April through November.

Unemployment rate lowers to 14.5% in July
Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2009 was 10.7%, 0.1 percentage point lower than the June rate of 10.8%. The United States’ unemployment rate for the month of June was 9.4%.

County non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for June 2009 showed that the rate increased in 14 counties, decreased in 78 counties, and remained the same in 3 counties.

Scott County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 19.6%, up from 19.5 in June.

Overton County’s unemployment rate was 14.5% for July, down from 15.3% in June. Overton had 1,430 unemployed of a workforce of 9,890.

Overton County is included in the Cookeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, along with Putnam County and Jackson County. Unemployment in the Cookeville MSA went down from 11.7% to 11.3% in July, with 5,510 unemployed of a workforce of 48,610.

Jackson County’s unemployment rate went up from 14.4% in June to 15.2% in July. Jackson had 750 unemployed of a workforce of 4,910.

Putnam County’s went down from 10.3% in June to 9.9% in July. Putnam had 3,330 unemployed of a workforce of 33,810.

Clay County’s unemployment rate went down from 15.1% in June to 13.9% in July. Clay had 480 unemployed of a labor force of 3,420.

Pickett County’s unemployment rate went down from 14.7% in June to
14.2% in July. Pickett had 260 unemployed of a workforce of 1,820.

Fentress County’s unemployment rate went down from 14% to 13.4% in July. Fentress had 1,050 unemployed of a workforce of 7,810.

Unemployment information is available online at http://www.tennessee.gov/labor-wfd/labor_figures/july2009county.pdf.


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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston' Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486
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