The Georgia Budget & Policy Institute thanks the many national organizations whose guidance, support and data were instrumental in crafting and strengthening this report, including the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Economic Policy Institute, Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, PolicyLink, Working Poor Families Project and the Equality of Opportunity Project, among others. GBPI also extends gratitude to Melissa Johnson, former GBPI senior analyst now of the National Skills Coalition, for her early contributions to the analysis.
1 “2015 State and Local Tax Revenue as a Percentage of Personal Income, Total Tax Collections,” Federation of Tax Administrators.
2 Investment in quality pre-K programs delivers a long-term return on investment to the broader economy on par or better than the most well-designed business incentives, according to one landmark study. “Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development,” Timothy J. Bartik, 2011.
3 A rigorous 2013 report finds that high levels of support for K-12 schools is closely linked to better wage growth, more productive workers and stronger state-level economies in recent decades. “A Well-Educated Workforce Is Key To State Prosperity,” Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), 2013.
4 Mobile companies and entrepreneurs today want top-notch talent and high quality of life, as well as a stable and healthy workforce that can both get the job done right and afford the products they make. “The magic formula for attracting and retaining entrepreneurs is this: a great place to live plus a talented pool of potential employees, and excellent access to customers and suppliers.” “What Do Entrepreneurs Want in a City?” Endeavor Insight, 2014.
5 Carmen Nobel, “Food Stamp Entrepreneurs: How Public Assistance Enables Business Bootstrapping,” Harvard University, September 2, 2014; Gareth Olds, “Food Stamp Entrepreneurs,” Working Paper 16-143, Harvard University, 2016; Gareth Olds, “Entrepreneurship and Public Health Insurance,” Working Paper 16-144, Harvard University, 2016.
6 Georgians are working harder than ever, raising their productivity level by 75 percent from 1979 to 2015. But wages for a typical Georgia worker rose by only 19 percent over that same span. Economic Policy Institute.
7 “In Climbing Income Ladder, Location Matters,” New York Times. 2013.
8 For more information see “The American Dream, Quantified at Last,” New York Times, 2016. Underlying data from “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940,” Chetty, Grusky, Hell, Hendren, Manduca, and Narang (2016).
9 “Economic Mobility,” Chetty et al. Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. 2015.
10 GBPI analysis of economic mobility estimates by “commuting zone” generated by Dr. Raj Chetty and his team in “Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States,” 2016. See Online Table 6.
11 “If women, minorities, and children from low- and middle-income families invented at the same rate as white men from high-income (top 20%) families, there would 4 times as many inventors in America as there are today.” “Groundbreaking empirical research shows where innovation really comes from,” Vox. 2017.
12 Additional data provided to GBPI by the Economic Analysis Research Network (EARN), related to “Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county,” Sommeiller, Price, and Wazeter, 2016.
14 Defined as households with less than $25,000 in annual income.
15 Defined as households with at least $47,000 in annual income.
16 Defined as households with earnings of at least $108,000.
17 For more details on stagnant wages over prior decades, see “Raising America’s Pay. Why It’s Our Central Economic Policy Challenge,” Economic Policy Institute. 2014.
18 Economic Policy Institute analysis of Current Population Survey data, provided to GBPI by request.
19 “Tuition and Fees and Room and Board Over Time,” College Board.
20 “Georgia’s Education Cuts a Growing Burden for Low-Income Students,” GBPI. September 2017.
21 “Child Care Costs on the Upswing, Census Bureau Reports,” U.S. Census Bureau. 2013.
22 “Family Budgets in the Macon, GA Metro Area,” Economic Policy Institute.
23 GBPI analysis of American Community Survey data.
24 “Survey: Half in region can’t afford sudden $400 expense,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 2016.
25 “The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans,” The Atlantic. 2016.
26 “Stanford research analyzes college as an engine of upward mobility,” Stanford University. 2017.
27 “An Atlas of Upward Mobility Shows Paths Out of Poverty,” The Upshot. 2015.
28 Sixteen percent of Georgians lived below the federal poverty line in 2016, the 11th highest rate out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. American Community Survey 2016.
29 GBPI analysis of American Community Survey data.
30 “The Countless Ways Poverty Affects People’s Health,” U.S. News and World Report. 2016.
31 “Schedules That Work,” National Partnership for Women and Families. 2017.
32 “How Poverty Taxes the Brain,” CityLab. 2013.
33 Working Poor Families Project, data provided to GBPI upon request.
34 “Target Poverty’s Effects to Improve School Performance,” GBPI. December 2017.
35 “Our Kids,” Robert Putnam 2015. For more details see “The American Dream in Crisis: A Conversation with Robert Putnam,” The Fordham Institute. 2015.
36 “1.2 million children in the U.S. have lead poisoning. We’re only treating half of them,” Vox. 2017.
37 “Georgia Higher Education Data Book,” GBPI. August 2017.
38 “Knock Down Barriers Between Georgia Students and College Graduation,” GBPI. 2017.
39 For more details see “Rich Kids Stay Rich, Poor Kids Stay Poor,” FiveThirtyEight. Original study is “Childhood Environment and Gender Gaps in Adulthood,” Raj Chetty et al. 2016.
40 GBPI analysis of 2016 American Community Survey.
41 “Geography of Poverty,” United States Department of Agriculture. 2017.
42 PolicyLink National Equity Atlas, Georgia data summary.
43 GBPI analysis of American Community Survey 2016 1-year estimates and 1990 U.S. Census.
44 “Color of Law,” Richard Rothstein 2017. For more details see “A ‘Forgotten History’ of How the U.S. Government Segregated America,” NPR. 2017.
45 “The Data are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding,” The Atlantic. 2015.
46 “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” Bertrand and Mullainathan. 2003.
47 “Is American criminal justice color-blind? The statistics say no,” Urban Institute. 2013.
48 The median income for whites in Georgia in 2016 was about $60,000, versus only $37,000 for African Americans. The racial wealth gap is even larger. For more details see “Laying the Foundation: A Wealth-Building Agenda for Georgia Women,” GBPI. October 2017.
49 “Economic Opportunity Agenda for Georgia Women,” GBPI. August 2016.
51 For more details and actionable resources on how to make local communities more welcoming, visit Welcoming America.
52 “Georgia is a welcoming state filled with warm, friendly and loving people. Our cities and countryside are populated with people who worship God in a myriad of ways and in very diverse settings. Our people work side-by-side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia.” Governor Nathan Deal. House Bill 757 veto statement 2016.
53 “Just Growth: Prosperity and Inclusion in America’s Metropolitan Regions,” Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor. and “Less segregated communities aren’t only more inclusive. They’re more prosperous,” Urban Institute. 2017.
54 “Putting Georgia on the Path to Inclusive Prosperity,” PolicyLink and Partnership for Southern Equity. 2017.
55 “Economic Opportunity Agenda for Georgia Women,” GBPI. August 2016.
56 “Immigrants Help Chart Georgia’s Course to Prosperity,” GBPI 2015.
57 Baker, B., Farrie, D. Johnson, M., Luhm, T., and Sciarra, D. (2017). “Is school funding fair? A national report card.” Education Law Center.
58 The size of the yearly cut varied, reaching heights of more than $1 billion each year from 2010 to 2014. State leaders added additional funds as the economy improved in recent years, yet halted progress by short-changing districts $167 million in the 2018 state budget.
59 “Target Poverty’s Effects to Improve School Performance,” GBPI. December 2017.
62 “Georgia Higher Education Data Book,” GBPI. August 2017.
63 Georgia’s Education Cuts a Growing Burden for Low-Income Students,” GBPI. September 2017.
64 “Georgia colleges ‘purge’ between 20,000 and 30,000 students a year over unpaid tuition.” Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal Constitution. 2016.
65 “Troubling gaps in HOPE point to need-based solutions,” GBPI. 2016
66 Most notably, Georgians cannot access the HOPE program beyond a seven-year window after graduating high school. From a practical standpoint this means most students over 25 years old are ineligible for state assistance, despite a rising share of Georgians who are enrolling in technical colleges and universities as adults. “Help rural Georgians’ health and pocketbook,” Taifa S. Butler. January 2018.
67 “Improved Adult Education Support Critical to Georgia’s Bottom Line,” GBPI. August 2015.
68 Fifty-one percent of job openings between 2014 and 2024 are projected to require middle skills. Another 31 percent of job openings will require at least a four-year college degree, while only 18 percent of job openings will require no education beyond high school. “Georgia’s Forgotten Middle,” National Skills Coalition.
69 “Georgia’s Higher Education Completion Plan 2012,” Complete College Georgia, November 2011. Complete College Georgia’s website (www.completegeorgia.org) reflects that over 60 percent of jobs in Georgia will require some form of a college education by 2025.
70 “Underfunded English Training Limits Contribution from Georgia’s College-Educated Immigrants,” GBPI. April 2017.
71 Working Poor Families Project analysis of US Department of Education data from 2011-2012 and American Community Survey 2011.
72 In 1970, 45 percent of married Georgia women worked outside the home. Now, 59 percent of married Georgia women are in the labor force. Participation in the workforce for Georgia single mothers is picking up as well. The share of single mothers who work increased to 83 percent from around 66 percent since 1970, while the share of Georgia families with children headed by single women more than doubled since 1970. Today, 29 percent of families with children are headed by single women. For more information, see “Economic Opportunity Agenda for Georgia Women,” GBPI. August 2016.
73 “Checking In: A Snapshot of the Child Care Landscape, CCAoA’s Annual State Fact Sheets,” Child Care Aware of America, 2017.
74 GBPI analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and Child Care Aware of America data.
75 “Economic Opportunity Agenda for Georgia Women,” GBPI. August 2016.
76 “Invest in Child Care to Tap Families’ Economic Potential,” GBPI, January 2018.
77 “Boost Georgia’s Workforce with Affordable Child Care for Student Parents,” GBPI. January 2018.
78 “EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. October 2015.
79 “Help rural Georgians’ health and pocketbook,” Taifa S. Butler. January 2018.
80 People with health insurance are 80 percent less likely to have catastrophic medical bills and 50 percent less likely to borrow money or fail to pay other bills because of medical debt.
81 Carmen Nobel, “Food Stamp Entrepreneurs: How Public Assistance Enables Business Bootstrapping,” Harvard University, September 2, 2014,
82 “2018 Budget Primer,” GBPI, July 2017. See page 33.
83 “Georgia Ready to Close Coverage Gap,” GBPI. January 2018.
84 A “working family” means that either the principal person or another member of the family is working at least part-time. “The Coverage Gap: Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid,” Kaiser Family Foundation. 11/1/2017.
85 “The Economic Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Georgia,” William S. Custer, Ph.D., Institute of Health Administration, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Publication #74, February 2013.
86 “Georgia Ready to Close Coverage Gap,” GBPI. January 2018.
87 “Adults Reporting Mental Illness in the Past Year, 2014-2015,” Kaiser Family Foundation. American Community Survey. 2015 Georgia Population Estimates (Georgia adults population was 7,515,613)
88 “Co-occurring diseases,” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
89 GBPI analysis of Georgia Department of Public Health data. For more information, see “Fight Substance Abuse, Improve Mental Health Care to Help More Georgians,” GBPI 2017.
90 A 2015 proposal for HOPE grants to cover tuition for certificates and diplomas at technical colleges estimated this would cost an additional $21 million, assuming the same number of students enrolled, tuition patterns and other HOPE scholarships and grants remained the same. Including associate’s degree students to cover tuition for all technical college students would cost more. Spending the average Zell Miller award for 33,000 technical colleges students who do not currently receive HOPE would cost $40 million, though in a last-dollar approach, this amount would be greatly reduced by the value of Pell Grants received. For more information see “Strengthen Georgia’s Workforce by Making College Affordable for All,” GBPI. 2017.
91 “2015 State and Local Tax Revenue as a Percentage of Personal Income, Total Tax Collections,” Federation of Tax Administrators.
92 GBPI analysis of 2015 state and local finance data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
93 Ibid. Georgians in 2015 contributed 9.1 percent of their total personal income in state and local taxes, which equated to $35.9 billion in total taxes paid. If they had paid 10.3 percent of their income, which is the equivalent rate in the median state nationwide, Georgia’s state and local governments would have collected an estimated $40.5 billion, for an approximate difference of $4.6 billion.
94 For the 2018 budget year, Georgia will collect about $2,230 on average from each state resident to fund the state’s needs.
95 “2018 Budget Primer,” GBPI, July 2017. See page 16.
96 “Menu of Revenue Options to Pave Way for Georgia’s Rebound,” GBPI, June 2014.
97 GBPI analysis of Georgia’s tax expenditure report for FY 2018. The two programs cited are the abatement program for insurance companies that invest funds in certain businesses and the general tax break for life insurance companies. The estimate does not include insurance premium tax credits, because for technical reasons we count this lost revenue under separate tax break programs, specifically tax credits for job creation and low-income housing.
98 GBPI analysis of Georgia Department of Revenue 2016 Statistical Report.
99 Federation of Tax Administrators. Cigarette tax rates as of 1/1/2017. Per pack cigarette taxes are 67.5 cents in Alabama, 45 cents in North Carolina, 57 cents in South Carolina, 62 cents in Tennessee and $1.34 in Florida.
100 GBPI analysis based on data generated in official fiscal note for unnumbered Senate bill LC 34 4402, February 11, 2015.
101 GBPI analysis of Georgia Tax Expenditure Report for FY2018.
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