Fiscal Strength & Efficient Government

Governor Haslam's Goal: To be the best managed state, providing high-quality services at the lowest possible price to taxpayers.

Tennessee has a proud tradition of being a fiscally conservative state, and Governor Haslam is working hard to ensure state government continues to be well managed with the lowest possible tax burden to residents. The Haslam administration is building off the state’s record of good fiscal management by simultaneously building reserves, cutting taxes, and eliminating waste and inefficiencies from state government. Governor Haslam believes taxpayers are the state’s customers, and he is striving to change the culture within state government and make Tennessee the best managed state in the country.

  • Bond Rating: Moody's, Fitch, S&P
  • State Dept Per Capita
  • Rainy Day Fund
  • Taxes Per Capita
  • A grade given to a state government by a credit rating agency that expresses its opinion about a government's ability to meet its financial obligations in full and on time. Each of the three credit rating agencies (Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's) give letter designations to indicate a state government's credit worthiness.  For only the second time in state history, Tennessee has received three triple-A ratings, the  highest  bond  ratings  issued  by  all  three  major  credit  rating  agencies.  Annual Financial Report, FY 2016.

  • A measurement of the value of a state government's debt expressed in terms of the amount attributable to each citizen under the government's jurisdiction. Tennessee has consistently maintained a relatively low debt burden, accomplished through the use of sound, prudent and conservative debt management practices. George Mason University’s “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition” scored Tennessee as having the second lowest among states in long-term debt per capita.


  • The amount of money (as a percent of expenditures) that the government sets aside to deal with budget shortfalls in years where revenues do not match expenditures.  In 2018, Tennessee’s Rainy Day Fund will be the highest ever.   Governing

  • The Tax burden measures the exact proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. Tennessee has the third lowest tax burden in the nation at 6.45% of personal income. 2017 Wallet Hub