business

Nine Tennesseans make 2018 Forbes rich list; Jimmy Haslam richer than Trump, but not Bill

Nine Tennesseans are on Forbes’ 2018 list of the world’s richest people, including Gov. Bill Haslam, who the magazine had declared the nation’s richest politician prior to the election of President Donald Trump.

Trump is still ahead of Haslam in wealth — $3.1 billion of net worth to the governor’s $2.3 billion, by the Forbes estimate. That’s down a bit from last year for the president, who has declared Forbes underestimates his wealth. It’s unchanged for the governor, who has always refused to discuss the “private matter” of his fortune, based on the family-owned Pilot Flying J chain of gas stations.

Jimmy Haslam, the governor’s brother and CEO of Pilot, is listed with a net worth of $3.4 billion – ahead of the president as well as his brother.

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Bill Lee quits business coalition board that endorsed candidate in Nashville mayor’s race

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee resigned from the board of the Nashville Business Coalition Wednesday after the group publicly urged Democrat David Briley to seek election as Nashville mayor and called on other prospective candidates to stay out of the race, reports Tennessee Star. Briley, who had been vice mayor, took over duties as mayor following the resignation of former mayor Megan Barry this week.

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AG contradicts Jack Daniels’ bill — says whiskey barrels can be taxed

A legal opinion from the state attorney general’s office says the barrels used to age whiskey in Tennessee distilleries are subject to property taxes paid by businesses, despite a contention to the contrary in a bill pending before the General Assembly.

Producers of Jack Daniels whiskey have been pushing the bill (SB2076) since officials in Moore County laid plans to begin applying the tax to aging barrels, something not done in the past. The fiscal note prepared by legislative staff estimates that would mean about $2.8 million in new revenue for Tennessee’s smallest county.

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Slatery among critics of federal move to block state oversight of student loan collectors

The Trump administration is taking steps to shield student loan collection companies from state regulators, over the objections of consumer advocates and even some Republican attorneys general, reports Politico. Tennessee AG Herbert Slatery is one of them.

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Boyd company gets third TN base in minor league baseball management

Boyd Sports, owned by Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd, is taking over management of the Greeneville Reds. It will be the third minor league baseball team in Tennessee to have an agreement with the Knoxville company, reports the Greeneville Sun.

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Politico: TN one of six states with no enforcement of minimum wage rules

Excerpt from a Sunday Politico piece:

As Democrats make raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of their 2018 campaigns, and Republicans call for states to handle the issue, both are missing an important problem: Wage laws are poorly enforced, with workers often unable to recover back pay even after the government rules in their favor.

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TN Tech research used in lobbying ‘eviscerated’ by some professors

“Growing faculty outrage” prompted a Tennessee Technological University internal investigation into the validity of the school research that was financed by a Tennessee company, then used by U.S. Rep. Diane Black in supporting the company’s viewpoint on federal air pollution regulations, reports The Tennessean. Tech’s president suggests the internal review may “exonerate the innocent.”

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Jury finds former Pilot Flying J president guilty of fraud, conspiracy and witness tampering

A federal jury Thursday convicted the former president Pilot Flying J, the nation’s largest diesel fuel retailer, in a plot to rip off truckers to boost both his own bottom line and that of the company, reports the News Sentinel.

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Senate approves revision in rules for online job contract companies

After a half-hour of debate, the state Senate approved 25-3 Monday night a bill that revises legal restrictions for online “marketplace platform” companies that collect a fee for putting those needing temporary work performed in touch with persons willing to do the job – TaskRabbit, for example.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Bo Watson of Hixson, says it’s a business-friendly update to the realities of today’s technology and increasing use of contract services. Critics contend it undermines protections for both workers and those who hire them.

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Airbnb to begin collecting taxes for state Department of Revenue

Airbnb will collect state and local sales taxes from the 7,700 Tennesseans who rent their homes through the online company and send the money to the state Department of Revenue under an agreement reached Wednesday, reports The Tennessean. Currently, each individual Airbnb host is responsible for collecting and remitting the taxes.

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