Statement from Senate State and Local Government Committee Chairman Ken Yager regarding Retire Tennessee efforts in Rhea County

(NASHVILLE) —  “I am very pleased to see Rhea County become a part of these efforts,” said Senator Yager.  “This will have a positive effect on our local economy.  These efforts dovetail nicely with our new law which just became effective this week to provide Hall Tax relief to more senior citizens.  This, combined with the scenic beauty and great hospitality in Rhea county, is a winning combination to draw new retirees to our area.  I look forward to seeing many new citizens call Rhea County home as a result of all of these efforts.”###

NOTE:  The legislation approved this year raises the Hall income tax exemption level for citizens age 65 and older from $26,200 to $33,000 for single filers and from $37,000 to $59,000 for joint filers.  It builds on Hall tax relief efforts taken in 2011 that raised the exemption level for senior citizens from $16,200 to $26,200 for single filers and from $27,000 to $37,000 for joint filers.  In addition to Hall tax relief, this year’s budget lowers the sales tax on food to 5% and contains funds to raise the inheritance tax exemption level from $1.25 million to $2 million as authorized by a new law passed by the General Assembly last year, all which aid in the effort to recruit senior citizens to Tennessee.  Senator Yager is a sponsor of this legislation.

Below find the announcement regarding the Retire Tennessee:

Hamblen and Rhea Counties Join 14 Established Communities

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty announced today Hamblen and Rhea counties have met the criteria to join Retire Tennessee, the state’s retiree recruitment program, bringing the total number of active Retire Tennessee programs to 16.

“Tennessee boasts the lowest cost of living in the Southeast and the second lowest in the nation, an unparalleled health system and low property taxes. These factors not only make Tennessee a great state to live, but also to retire,” Hagerty said. “When you combine those characteristics with the signature beauty of East Tennessee, there is no doubt Hamblen and Rhea counties make outstanding additions to the Retire Tennessee program. I applaud communities that place emphasis on retiree recruitment in their economic development strategies and who see the benefits retirees can bring to the communities they call home.”

Recently named “Best Place to Retire in the United States” by, Tennessee took top honors based on its low cost-of-living, good access to medical care and mild, warmer climate.

“A partnership between Hamblen County and the Retire Tennessee program makes perfect sense,” Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain said. “We enjoy four comfortable seasons, an abundance of outdoor activities, and a rich history with southern charm. We invite you to the neighborhood.”

“Because of the efforts of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Retire Tennessee program, Tennessee has become a prime destination for retirees,” Rhea County Executive George Thacker said. “We have always known that Rhea County and Tennessee are great places to live and retire. Now we have this opportunity to promote it through Retire Tennessee.”

In addition to Hamblen and Rhea Counties, other Retire Tennessee communities include Cumberland, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Jefferson, Loudon, Maury, Putnam, Roane, Robertson, Sullivan, Warren and White counties.

For more information on the Retire Tennessee program, please visit

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:


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