Report Shows Tennessee State Parks Had $2.1 Billion Economic Impact in 2021

Tennessee State Parks had an economic impact of $2.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, as the parks posted 38.5 million visits, according to a report done for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the department announced Monday.

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Cincinnati Border Patrol Says City’s Port Is Among Busiest for Smuggling

In a Wednesday press release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a press release detailing its efforts to curb smuggling through the port in Cincinnati, which it says ranked fifth in the nation for smuggling busts in fiscal year 2021. 

“From October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021, Cincinnati seized 6,738 shipments, ranking the port in fifth-place for seizures among all 328 CBP ports of entry nationwide,” the release said. “Additionally, Cincinnati agriculture specialists issued 7,240 Emergency Action Notifications (EANs), the highest number of agriculture seizures ever recorded at the port.”

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Arizona Legislative Report Reveals ‘Extraordinary’ Fiscal Growth in State

A new report from the Arizona Legislature’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows Arizona is in great economic condition, breaking records. Revenues from taxes are high or better than projected, with significant gains expected in the future, and personal income is growing at the fastest pace since 1985. It comes after Arizona passed historic tax cuts, reducing the personal income tax to the lowest flat tax in the country at 2.5%. However, some of the rosy picture is due to COVID-19 relief.

Governor Doug Ducey issued a statement about the report, “It paints a picture of a state economy that has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic not only in great shape, but poised to achieve even greater accomplishments in the years ahead. The ‘extraordinary growth’ Arizona saw in Fiscal Year 2021 is positive news for every Arizonan. We are leading the way in the nation’s economic recovery.”

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Virginia Ends Fiscal Year 2021 with $2.6 Billion Revenue Surplus

Virginia ended Fiscal Year 2021 with a $2.6 billion surplus, the largest in Virginia’s history, with a 14.5 percent revenue growth over FY 2020.

“We have effectively managed Virginia’s finances through the pandemic, and now we are seeing the results—record-breaking revenue gains, a recovery that has outpaced the nation, and recognition as the best place to do business,” Governor Ralph Northam said in a press release.

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State Revenues in February Exceeded the Budget by $191 Million, Puts Fiscal Year Surplus at $1.3 Billion

Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Butch Eley announced Friday that tax revenues to the state for the month of February exceeded the budgeted estimates by $190.9 million, which puts the fiscal year surplus at $1.3 billion.

February revenues of $1.13 billion represent an 11.06 percent growth rate or $112.7 million more than February of last year.

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State Lawmakers Will Have to Reconcile the House Budget Proposal That Gives Tax Dollars Back to Citizens and Makes Deeper Cuts Than the Senate Version

As the second session of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly winds down, the House and Senate will need to reconcile their two different budget proposals to close out the current fiscal year and for the upcoming fiscal year 2021.

The Senate version passed with a vote of 27 Ayes, 1 No and 2 Present and Not Voting during the June 11 floor session.

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Metro Councilman Glover and Nashville Business Owner Call for More Time for the Budget

Metro Councilman-at-Large Steve Glover and owner of Peg Leg Porker, Carey Bringle, called for at least another week to review the city’s budget for the upcoming 2021 fiscal year.

Glover has been outspoken about Mayor Cooper’s 32 percent proposed property tax increase, and native Nashvillian Pringle made news when he shared his scathing letter to Mayor Cooper and the Metro Council about the proposed property tax increase.

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Tennessee Lt. Governor Suggests Annual Sales Tax Holiday May Be Off the Table This Year

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) suggested that the annual sales tax holiday is one of the things that would not be done this summer to help compensate for the state’s revenue shortfalls.

The revelation by the lieutenant governor was included in a WBIR 10News report in conjunction with adjustments the Tennessee General Assembly expects to make to the fiscal year 2021 budget.

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Nashville Has Reportedly Suffered the Steepest COVID-19 Consumer Spending Drop in the Nation

Nashville has suffered the steepest drop in consumer spending of any major metropolitan area in the U.S due to COVID-19, according to a report Wednesday in the Nashville Business Journal.

The Journal used information obtained from Harvard’s new Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, working with Brown University and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to pull data from a variety of sources.

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Mayor John Cooper’s Five Percent Budget Increase Will Come on the Backs of Nashville Property Owners

Mayor John Cooper’s budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year (FY) includes a five percent increase in spending, which will come at the expense of Nashville property owners by way of a 32 percent property tax increase.

The record-high budget of $2.45 billion is Cooper’s first, and comes on the heels of a devastating tornado on March 3 and during a worldwide coronavirus pandemic which resulted in major losses of personal property and income for Nashvillians.

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