U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn brought a positive message concerning employment levels and the Tennessee economy to a large crowd that gathered at the Lincoln County Courthouse bandstand during her visit to Fayetteville Tuesday afternoon.
Blackburn confirmed that Tennessee has the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years and pointed out that Tennessee is regularly listed as being in the top five best places for doing business.
“We have no state income tax and never will have a state income tax,” she said. “We have a great quality of life and the best food and friendliest people on earth.”
Blackburn referred to the Tax Cut & Jobs Act, passed in 2017, and how people want to make that permanent. The cut allows a tax credit for employers who provide paid family and medical leave to employees, and it made several significant changes to the individual income tax. It nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals to almost $12,000 and $24,000 for couples.
“… You can see from all the activity that is here that things are going great. People are so pleased that jobs are growing, and just look at it here in the county—with the TCAT, with new employers looking, the Chamber’s busy, the square’s busy – that’s the kind of growth you do want to see,” she said.
Of the concerns she frequently hears, she explained, “People want to make certain that we continue to have grants that are available for local projects. They want to see us to work together at the state and federal level, our law enforcement wants more attention put on the fact that our jails have a large population that is suffering from drug addiction and from mental illness. Sheriffs and law enforcement continue to say we need more money for beds and facilities, and as you heard today, that veterans have choices and options.”
She talked about trying to get the trade agreements signed and bringing manufacturing jobs back to this country.
“We know that that would help to spur more job growth — more job creation.” she said, even though the country’s employment rate is at a 50-year high.
Her outlook for the state’s economy the next few years is optimistic – “I think Tennessee’s economy is going to continue to be strong, people are choosing to relocate their companies here because we have a very strong business environment here.”