Nov/Dec 2009

State News: August 2009

 

STATE NEWS TRIVIA

From November/December
Q. Citizens across the country will soon start filing the income tax paperwork.
What state has the lowest personal income tax rate? What state has the highest?
Each state has a different variation on setting marginal rates and tax brackets for single filers, according to the 2009 Book of the States. Based on a $50,000 salary—for comparison purposes—Arizona has the lowest individual tax rate at 4.24 percent. Illinois and Indiana, however, base the marginal tax rate and tax brackets on federal adjusted gross income with modification. Those rates are 3 percent for Illinois and 3.4 percent for Indiana. California has seven different brackets, but those earning $50,000 annually would pay 9.3 percent in taxes based on the marginal rate.
From October
Q.
The recession that actually started last year impacted many states' unemployment
payments, and that was evident in the first payments in October 2008 compared to
October 2007. Which state had the highest percentage change over that time period?
Which state had the lowest?
A.Hawaii's first-time unemployment insurance payments for October 2008 was 98.8 percent higher than those payments in October 2007, according to the 2009 Book of the States. The total number of first-time claims was 3,915. Alaska actually had fewer first-time payments in October 2008. The 1,992 first-time payments were down 41 percent over the previous year.
 
From September
Q. What state has the highest rate of high school graduation? What state has the lowest?
A. Nebraska boasts the highest high school graduation rate of entering freshman at 87.8 percent for the 2004-05 school year, the most recent figures available, according to the 2009 Book of the States, a publication of The Council of State Governments. It’s followed closey by several other Midwestern states— Wisconsin at 86.7 percent, Iowa at 86.6 percent and North Dakota at 86.3--and Vermont at 86.5.
From August
Q. What state has the highest motor fuel excise tax rate? What state has the lowest?
New York has the highest motor fuel excise tax rate at 41 cents per gallon, according to the 2009 Book of the States. Georgia has the lowest motor fuel excise tax rate at 7.5 cents per gallon, followed closely by Alaska at 8 cents per gallon.
 
From June/July
Q: What states have the highest percentage of the total population that are foreign born?
A: California has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents, with 27.2 percent of its population born outside the U.S. New York has 21.4 percent of foreign-born residents, followed by New Jersey at 19.5 percent, Florida with 18.5 percent, Nevada with 17.4 percent and Hawaii with 17.2 percent.
From May
Q: Which state has the most state overseas offices, as of 2006?
A: Pennsylvania has overseas offices in 16 different countries. Utah has offices in 13 different countries; and Florida and Maryland each have offices in 12 different countries.
From April
Q: Which region of the country receives the highest average federal-aid highway funds for recreation trails?
A: The South receives the most funds for recreation trails: $1.607million; followed by the West, $1.580 million; the Midwest, $1.427 million; and the East, $1.148 million.
From March
Q: Which state has the highest average age of new hires, as of 2007, according to the 2008 Book of the States? Which state has the lowest average age?
A: Montana has the highest average age of new hires at 41, while Missouri’s average new hire age of 32 is the lowest.
From February
Q: Which state has the highest average age of employees, as of 2007, according to the 2008 Book of the States? Which state has the lowest average age?
A: The average age for employees in both Kansas and Washington state is 47 as of 2007, according to The Book of the States, a publication of The Council of State Governments. The state with the lowest average age of employees is Nevada, where the average age for employees is 38.20.
From January
Q: Many states were organized as territories before being admitted to the union. Which state was a territory for the longest time period before becoming a state?
A: New Mexico was organized as a territory Sept. 9, 1850, and became a state Jan. 6, 1912, for 62 years as a territory. It's followed by Hawaii at 59 years, Arizona at 49 years, Alaska at 47 years, and Utah at 46 years. Although Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867, it wasn't organized as a territory until Aug. 24, 1912, and was admitted to the union Jan. 3, 1959.
From November/December
Q: In the United States, 84.2 percent of citizens were covered by health insurance in 2006, according to the 2008 Book of the States, published by The Council of State Governments. Which state has the highest percentage of residents covered by health insurance? Which state had the lowest percentage?
A: Highest
Rhode Island, 91.4 percent
Hawaii, 91.2 percent
Wisconsin, 91.2 percent
Lowest
Texas, 75.5 percent
New Mexico, 77.1 percent
Arizona, 79.1 percent
Missouri, 79.2 percent