Friday Facts: April 14, 2017

It’s Friday!

Viewed from I-75 South, the sign at the Atlanta Braves' new stadium in Cobb Count is a reminder of today's home opener. Below the sign, raw dirt marks the spot where the Northwest Corridor reversible toll lanes, under construction, will open in 2018.
Viewed from I-75 South, the sign at the Atlanta Braves’ controversial new baseball stadium in Cobb County is a reminder of today’s home opener at SunTrust Park. Below the sign, raw dirt marks the spot where the Northwest Corridor reversible toll lanes, under construction, will open in 2018.

Welcome to a special “By the Numbers” Friday Facts to mark Tax Day on April 18!

Quotes of note

“Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” – Thomas Jefferson

“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine

“I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” – Thomas Sowell

Health care 

639,611: The number of individuals covered by the State Health Benefit Plan as of May 2016. The plan covers state employees, teachers, school system employees and retirees who continued coverage, and covered dependents.  

168,414: The number of part- and full-time state employees in Georgia as of 2015.

$45,960: The 2016 income level at which subsidies for ObamaCare health care premiums ends. If your income is even $100 over that maximum, the entire subsidy can be reclaimed by the government.


$900,000: The amount Kennesaw State University students save each year by replacing expensive text books with open educational sources. Source: Kennesaw State University

$15.665 billion: The amount the Georgia Department of Education website reports in spending for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Source: Foundation report, “Balancing the Books in Education

$19.158 billion: The amount the Governor’s Office of Student Accountability reports the Georgia Department of Education actually spent in FY 2016. Source: Foundation report, “Balancing the Books in Education 

Taxes and spending 

46: Georgia’s rank in state and local taxes per capita, where No. 1 is the highest burden.  Source: FY2013 Census Bureau data from the Foundation’s “Fiscal Overview” chapter of the Guide to the Issues

$52,543: The 2016 earnings of the average single U.S. worker with no children. That worker paid a combined $13,649 in payroll taxes, federal income tax, state and local government taxes. The employer pitched in another $4,020 in payroll taxes. The overall rate of 31.7 percent is more than 4 points below the average of the 35 nations surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Taxes were highest in France and Belgium.) Source: Bloomberg News

4,378,120: The number of federal tax returns filed in Georgia for 2014 (latest data available). Source: 

Energy and environment 

13: The number of counties where emissions tests are required of automobiles manufactured between 1993 and 2014 (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale County).

$25: The maximum cost of an emissions test.

998: The number of inspection stations operating for the mandatory annual emissions tests in the 13-county area in 2015, the latest report available.

584: The number of emissions inspection stations that failed equipment audits. (59 percent).

2,615,706: The number of automobiles that underwent on-board diagnostics (OBD) emissions testing in 2015.

208,535: The number of passenger vehicles that failed their initial OBD test in 2015, amounting to 8 percent of the vehicles that underwent OBD testing. Among vehicles manufactured in 2009 and later, however, fewer than four in every 100 failed.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In April five years ago the Foundation published, “Don’t Hide Energy Innovation Under A Bushel.” It noted, “The independence, jobs and security this nation wants are at hand. But zealotry threatens innovation.”


Have you visited our social media sites lately? The Foundation has 3,206 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,730 followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Return Insurance Regulation to the States,” by Ralph T. Hudgens.

Have a blessed Passover and Easter weekend.  

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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