Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

Tennessee's Infrastructure Needs Stand at 38.8 Billion

Friday, October 24, 2014 | 12:24 pm
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Tennessee needs at least $38.8 billion of public infrastructure improvements during the five-year period of 2012-2017 according to a new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR).  The need for public infrastructure improvements, as reported by state and local officials, is up $1.3 billion (3.5%) compared with the year before.

Report Recommends Giving Customers Living Outside of Cities Ways to Ensure Fair Water and Sewer Rates

Friday, February 21, 2014 | 07:00 am
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Nashville–A new report by a state commission recommends ways to ensure fair water and sewer rates for non-city customers of city utilities.  The report is the result of complaints by residents of Piney Flats in Sullivan County who receive water and sewer service from Johnson City that they, like all non-resident customers of the city, are charged rates double those charged city residents without justification.  A bill by their state representative, Timothy Hill, that would have capped their rates at 150% of rates charged city residents was sent to the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations for study.

TVA Payments Down Again. Changing Conditions and Policies Could Affect the Balance of Payments Across the Region.

Thursday, February 13, 2014 | 02:25 pm
2014 TVA PILOTs Annual Report to the General Assembly
2014 TVA PILOTs Annual Report to the General Assembly

Nashville, TN–Estimated payments from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for Tennessee and other states in the region served by the authority are $25 million less for the federal fiscal year 2013-14 than the $547 million in actual payments for the previous fiscal year.  This will be the second consecutive year in which TVA revenues and payments declined.  The estimated decline in payments results from the continued slow pace of economic recovery, the loss of a major direct industrial customer, greater energy efficiency, and mild weather.  Even with the severe winter weather this year, TVA is expecting another decline in electricity sales.  They reported in early February that electricity sales in the final three months of 2013 were down $245 million from last year.

TACIR Releases Interim Report on Public Chapter 441, Acts of 2013

Thursday, January 16, 2014 | 07:34 am
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Nashville, TN– A state commission directed last year to study growth planning and municipal boundary changes in Tennessee has recommended extending the state’s current moratorium on some types of annexations while the group and the legislature continue to study those issues.  The recommendation by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) is included in its interim report to the Tennessee General Assembly.  The report provides a number of options for further consideration and continued research.

TACIR Releases Report on Government Transparency

Friday, December 13, 2013 | 09:49 am
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Access to government information has been important since America’s founding, but 21st century advances in technology have raised citizens’ expectations.  The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations has released a report, Government Transparency: Can One Size Fit All? exploring the kinds of data governments should be making readily available, as well as challenges that stand in the way.  Because of the differences in size, complexity, and resources of Tennessee’s state and local governments, the report suggests that a varied approach is needed to improve government transparency and provides a range of options that could help most governments improve information accessibility.

Tennessee's Public Infrastructure Needs Stand at $37.1 Billion

Monday, September 23, 2013 | 02:25 pm
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NASHVILLE—Tennessee needs at least $37.1 billion of public infrastructure improvements to be in some stage of development during the five-year period of 2011-2016 according to new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR).  Even so, public infrastructure needs, as reported by state and local officials, are flat (down only 0.2%) compared with the year before.

TACIR Releases Land Use Report

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | 11:29 am
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Nashville, TN–A new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Land Use in Tennessee—Striking a Balance, reviews and comments on seven bills referred to the Commission by the General Assembly last year.  In its report, the Commission notes that disputes between landowners over how they want to use their property have long been a source of tension, but until the early 20th century, the only recourse people had was to take their neighbors to court, a costly, time-consuming, and uncertain process.  By mid-century, through changes in state law, most of those disputes were handled by elected officials or their boards and staff.  Even so, land-use issues are no less controversial, bills aimed at changing the laws designed to settle them are made every year.  The bills sent to the Commission in 2012 focused on four areas of the law:  what constitutes a subdivision, who gets to regulate land use outside city limits in areas set aside for them to annex, roads built by developers, and grandfathering of land uses that don’t conform to new zoning requirements.

TACIR Releases Report on Fire Service Funding

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 | 11:23 am
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Nashville, TN–Despite some improvement, Tennessee remains among the ten jurisdictions with the highest fire death rates nationwide, underscoring the importance of better understanding fire service in the state.  Which is why the General Assembly asked the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) to study how fire service is funded, in rural and suburban areas, whether provided by paid or volunteer fire departments, and to determine the effect on local governments of not having a fully funded fire department and what it would mean for firefighting to be made an essential service.

Tennessee and the US May Not Reach Pre-Recession Employment Peaks for Another Ten Years

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 01:26 pm
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Nashville–According to a new staff report released by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the recession that began in 2007 was one of the worst general economic declines that most Americans have ever experienced.  Starting in the construction sector, the decline spread to the financial sector and eventually rippled throughout the economy, causing significant collateral damage in most other areas.  Employment in Tennessee dropped by 220,000 and in the US by 8.7 million.  Almost six years after the recession began employment has yet to fully recover.  Some job sectors were insulated from the damage—most notably education and health services.  Others, like the state and local government sectors, were able to postpone some of the recession’s effects.  Job growth during the recovery has varied by sector, as well as between Tennessee and the US and by region within Tennessee.  Recent employment forecasts predict that several sectors of both the US and the Tennessee economies may not reach pre-recession peaks for another ten years or more.

TVA Develops Innovative Strategies to Avoid Federally Imposed Debt Ceiling

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 02:17 pm
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Nashville–The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has developed a number of innovative financing methods in order to stay within the $30 billion debt ceiling imposed on it by Congress in 1979.  These include the use of sale-and-lease back and lease-and-lease back arrangements.  A sale-and-lease back arrangement between TVA and an Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative could affect the distribution of PILOT funds and negatively affect county and city funds, as was the case in Mississippi following the sale of the Southaven plant.  Under that arrangement, TVA operates the plant and all sales of electricity produced are through TVA.  Revenues are counted as TVA revenues and subject to the PILOT allocation to states.  Although the fact that TVA doesn’t own the Southaven plant doesn’t affect the PILOT allocation across states, it does affect the PILOT distribution to the state of Mississippi.