Utah has the best economic outlook of any state in the nation, according to the latest edition of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Rich States, Poor States rankings. The annual economic competitiveness report (which Utah has dominated for ten years running) continues to show that red states with low taxes and reduced regulation outperform blue states clinging to outdated tax-and-spend fiscal policies.
The tenth edition of the Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index has just been released, and once again, Utah was found to have the best economic outlook of any state in the nation. The rankings are based on 15 equally-weighted economic policy variables, including tax rates, labor policy, and regulatory climate. They continue to show that states valuing economic freedom and competitiveness outperform states adhering to the tax-and-spend model, with state economic policies having a substantial effect on where businesses and individuals choose to set up shop.
Taxes matter for economic competitiveness. People and businesses often seek out lower tax burdens across state lines. Rich States, Poor States data shows states that keep taxes low, avoid job-killing over-regulation, and follow prudent budget practices consistently and significantly outperform their highly taxed, over-regulated counterparts. Shown below are the top- and bottom-ten states in terms of economic outlook for 2017. Over the past decade, two states have made the top ten in the rankings every single year: Utah and Wyoming. In fact, after enacting tax cuts, a flat tax, and pension reforms, Utah has earned the top spot in all ten editions of Rich States, Poor States — a truly impressive accomplishment. On the other side of the spectrum, New York and Vermont have managed to land in the bottom ten each of the past ten years.