Highest Financial Rating for Hamilton County
Hamilton County Government has received the highest financial rating it can from a financial agency. Hamilton County has received the coveted AAA Bond Rating from three different ratings agencies.
Fitch, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s rating services have all agreed to give Hamilton County the AAA bond rating.
Hamilton County is the only AAA rated Tennessee County to receive the prestigious financial distinction from three different rating agencies.
Mayor Jim Coppinger shared the credit for the continued AAA bond rating with his financial team. “We believe in fiscal conservatism as the shepherds of the taxpayer’s’ dollars, because this is whose money we are in charge of. Our financial practices carried out by our finance team is to make the most effective use of the taxpayer’s dollars with the best benefit for the county. Obviously, this is working when you consider the number of companies that have chosen to invest or expand in this community and create good paying jobs that benefit their employees over the last few years.”
During Mayor Coppinger’s tenure 5,286 jobs have been created.
Standard and Poor’s summed up their analysis for Hamilton County’s financial future in their report with this statement.
“The outlook reflects our expectation for economic and financial stability. Strong financial reserves should continue to provide a cushion against potential revenue fluctuations, though tax base stability limits those occurrences. Standard &Poor's anticipates debt obligations remaining limited and that they should not place any substantial pressure on the operating budget. We do not expect the rating to go down during the outlook period due to the county's sound management and strong financial position.”
Fitch also cited Hamilton County’s bright economic future in their report, “Fitch anticipates that recent commercial development will continue to diversify the county's economic profile over the next few years. The region is the first nationwide to offer Internet service at gigabit speed to all residences and businesses. Fitch believes that the ability to deploy data at significant speeds will aid the county in attracting additional commercial and industrial enterprises.”
Fitch also praised Hamilton County’s strong financial management, “Consistently high reserves are supported by adherence to conservative policies. Revenue-raising capacity and manageable cost pressures contribute to ample financial flexibility.”
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Last Update on July 28, 2015 07:34 GMT
GULF OIL SPILL-SETTLEMENT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge says BP will begin paying up to $1 billion in settlements to compensate local governments across the Gulf Coast for lost tax revenue and other economic damages they blame on the company's 2010 oil spill.
An order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (BAHR'-bih-aye) says all of the payments to local governments must be made within 30 days.
July 15 was the deadline for roughly 500 local governments in five states to decide whether to accept BP's settlement offers as part of a broader $18.7 billion agreement with the five Gulf states and the federal government over damage from the spill.
Barbier's order says BP says most local government entities have accepted the settlement.
UNDATED (AP) -- Windows 10 debuts tomorrow. No one's expected to line up overnight for the new Microsoft operating systems the way people did 20 years ago for Windows 95.
Microsoft says Windows 10 will seem familiar to users of Windows 7. Microsoft and PC makers want to erase the memory of the last big update, 2012's Windows 8, which alienated many with its jarring, clumsy design.
So, how much will Windows 10 cost? Microsoft says the new OS will be a free download for anyone who has the Home or Pro versions of Windows 7 or 8, but not the Enterprise versions.
But you might have to wait a bit to get your copy. Microsoft says it will deliver downloads in waves, to ensure things go smoothly. You can check the Microsoft website for more information on how to update your OS and what to expect from Windows 10.
DETROIT (AP) -- Fiat Chrysler could be required to lay out billions of dollars to get potentially defective Ram pickups and older Jeeps off the road under a deal with safety regulators to settle claims that the automaker mishandled nearly two dozen recalls.
The Italian-American automaker must offer to buy back 500,000 Ram pickup trucks and other vehicles in the biggest such action in U.S. history. It must also either allow owners of more than a million older Jeeps with vulnerable rear-mounted gas tanks to trade them in at above market value or cover the cost of a repair. Fiat Chrysler faces a record civil fine of up to $105 million.
The settlement is the latest sign that auto safety regulators are taking a more aggressive approach toward companies that fail to disclose defects or don't properly conduct a recall.
TOKYO (AP) -- Volkswagen overtook Toyota in global vehicle sales for January-June, the first time the German automaker has come out at the top in the intensely competitive tallies.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it sold 5.02 million vehicles in the first six months of this year.
Volkswagen said earlier it sold 5.04 million vehicles during the same period. Sales were robust in Europe and North America but fell in China, a strong market for the company.
Detroit-based General Motors Corp., the top-selling automaker for more than seven decades until being surpassed by Toyota in 2008, is expected to report its figure Thursday.
Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, has been the world's top-selling automaker for the past three years.
MEXICAN CILANTRO BAN
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is banning imports of some fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico, after a government investigation found human feces and toilet paper in growing fields there.
The FDA announced the partial ban on Monday after cilantro imported from the state of Puebla was linked to 2013 and 2014 outbreaks of stomach illnesses in the United States.
U.S. and Mexican health authorities investigated farms and packing houses in Puebla and found that some of the farms had no running water or toilet facilities.
The ban will only affect certain shipments of fresh cilantro from Puebla from April through August, corresponding to the timing of the outbreaks. The summer ban will continue in future years unless a company can prove to health authorities that its product is safe.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is ruling out House action on a long-term, must-pass highway bill the Senate is considering.
In an interview with reporters on Monday, the California Republican said definitively: "We're not taking up the Senate bill."
The Senate's version of the highway bill, which is on track to pass later in the week, sets policy and authorizes transportation programs for six years, though with funding for only three of those years. The Senate also is moving toward reviving the federal Export-Import Bank and adding it to the bill.
The House has passed a five-month extension of transportation programs without the Export-Import Bank.
If Congress doesn't act by Friday, states will lose money for highway and transit projects in the middle of the summer construction season.
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) -- Federal and state officials say the beginning of construction for the nation's first offshore wind farm is the success the industry needs to surge forward in the United States.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell called it a "pioneering moment" for an important industry.
Deepwater Wind is building a five-turbine wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, which it expects to power 17,000 homes as early as next year.
It began attaching the first of the steel foundations to the ocean floor Sunday. The first one touching the seabed is known in the industry as the "first steel in the water."
Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says it was a spectacular moment.
Deepwater Wind took officials, including Jewell, and project supporters to the site by boat Monday.
APPLE WATCH-BEST BUY
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Apple Watch is heading to some Best Buy stores ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Best Buy Co. says it will sell the Apple Watch at 100 of its stores and on its website on August 7. Another 200 Best Buy stores will offer the smartwatch before the end of the year. Best Buy, which has more than 1,000 stores in the U.S., says it's the first national retailer to sell the watch outside of Apple Inc.'s stores.
The retailer, based in Richfield, Minnesota, will offer models of the smartwatch that cost between $349.99 and $699.99.
Apple unveiled the watch in September and began taking orders in April. The Cupertino, California, company hasn't released any sale figures for the new device.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Nike will give partial refunds or gift cards to people who bought FuelBand fitness trackers in the last three and a half years, resolving a lawsuit that says the products can't accurately tally how many steps a user is taking or how many calories they've burned.
A website maintained by Gilardi & Co., a firm that administers settlements, says Nike Inc. will give $15 payments or $25 gift cards to people who bought FuelBands between Jan. 19, 2012 and June 17, 2015. Nike and collaborator Apple aren't acknowledging wrongdoing, but they're offering to settle a class action lawsuit against them.
The lawsuit said the companies engaged in false advertising and breached the terms of the devices' warranty.
Apple Inc. and Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
BERLIN (AP) -- Kazakhstan is set to become the 162nd member of the World Trade Organization after the Geneva-based body formally approved the country's membership.
The largest former Soviet republic in Central Asia is rich in natural resources and a key transit country for goods between Asia and Europe.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev says Kazakhstan is committed to opening up its financial and telecommunications sectors as agreed during its 19-year accession process.
Nazarbayev says his country hopes that joining the WTO will encourage foreign investment.
Kazakhstan, which has suffered from the economic downturn in neighboring Russia, must still ratify the membership agreement in its national Parliament by the end of October.
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