Tag Archives: executives

Gov to Coal Executives: ‘Do the Math and Come to TN’

Tennessee doesn’t have many coal mining jobs, but Gov. Bill Haslam was selling the state to a room full of coal executives Tuesday, reports the Kingsport Times-News.
“We’re not blessed with quite as much coal or as much oil or natural gas as other folks are, but the little we have is an important part of our economy,” Haslam, a Republican, told members of the Eastern Coal Council on the final day of their annual conference.
“We think it’s about 17,000 (energy sector) jobs in Tennessee…It enables us to be competitive with other folks in attracting industry who want low-cost reliable power.”
Haslam trumpeted Tennessee’s low-tax environment, business-friendly regulations and workers’ compensation reform efforts.
“For those of you who don’t live in Tennessee and live close, if you move to Tennessee, we don’t have an income tax,” Haslam told the group at the MeadowView Marriott. “You do the math and move to Tennessee. We would love to have you…We’ve cut the sales tax on groceries and the inheritance tax…Local taxes and state taxes together, we think we’re the third lowest state in taxes.”

TVA Boosts Executive Pay

The Tennessee Valley Authority boosted compensation for its top officers in fiscal 2012 to a record high despite a federal pay freeze, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
Tom Kilgore, TVA’s chief executive who is retiring at the end of the year, was paid more than $4 million in total compensation in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Kilgore has headed the nation’s biggest government utility for the past six years and is one of the highest paid federal workers in America.
Kilgore’s total pay for salary, benefits and pension was more than 10 times the $400,000 salary paid to President Barack Obama. But a study by pay consultants Towers Perrin found that Kilgore is paid the least among CEOs at 14 comparable investor-owned electric utilities and Kilgore’s compensation ranked ninth among the heads of 11 comparably sized, nonenergy companies in Tennessee.
Kilgore’s salary was down slightly from the previous year. But his performance bonuses and deferred retirement benefits boosted his overall compensation in 2012 by nearly 2 percent above the year-ago total.

Drug Testing for Corporate Executives Getting State Cash?

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has renewed his call for drug testing of people who receive government-related benefits and says it will be a priority in the current legislative session, reports Rick Locker.
“We will have some legislation ready to go on that. I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be right now but it will deal with making sure that when people apply for unemployment compensation that they’re supposed to get it, and second of all, I still want to make sure that we’re drug testing practically everyone getting any kind of government benefits,” Ramsey said.
…Gov. Bill Haslam has said he’s not sold on the concept of drug testing recipients on state assistance, largely because he’s not sure of the costs and whether it’s legal under federal law. House Republican leaders have also stopped short of endorsing the idea.
But that didn’t deter Ramsey on Friday. And when questioned on the issue in light of the state’s shift in policy on economic development incentives — Haslam’s legislative package unveiled last week would add outright grants of taxpayer cash to the state’s existing arsenal of tax breaks, worker training and infrastructure assistance — Ramsey said he’d be “fine” with testing corporate executives, too.
“It’s fine with me. I mean I’ll have to check into that,” he said.
“I’m fine with that. I’m fine with legislators being drug tested. Because I know that we will be criticized if we target one segment of society like that. But you’re right, if they’re getting state money, federal money — oh I shouldn’t — I don’t know how you define who the executives are.” He said that’s something lawmakers would have to look into.