The nation is stuck in a slow recovery but Utah’s economic status is one to envy. According to many reports Utah is one of the top economic performers in the country, and also has the best outlook of the bunch. All of this despite policies from the federal government that actually hinder economic growth.
The sixth edition of the Rich States, Poor States economic competitiveness study, released by the American Legislative Exchange Council, is the most recent to list Utah as having the Best Economic Outlook–for the sixth year in a row, no less.
Among the 15 important state policy variables from which the Economic Outlook rankings were deduced, Utah ranked in the top spot in the Estate/Inheritance Tax Levy, State Minimum Wage, and as a Right-to-Work State. Other variables where Utah ranked in the top ten include Personal Income Tax Progressiveness (2), Top marginal Corporate Income Tax Rate (8), State Liability System Survey (9), and Average Workers’ Compensation Costs (6). The lowest ranking Utah received was 31st in Sales Tax Burden.
Seven out of 15 in the top 10 isn’t bad!
As far as economic performance goes, Utah ranked third on the list behind Texas and Nevada. Economic Performance was ranked on a ten-year timeline in three categories that are highly influenced by state policy: State Gross Domestic Product, Absolute Domestic Migration and Non-Farm Payroll Employment.
The combined economic outlook and performance rankings gives Utah an overall number one score.
Each state wants to be economically competitive and Utah is doing quite well, thanks to a business-minded Legislature and governor, and an increased focus on education to improve economic prosperity.
“I want to thank the authors of Rich States, Poor States and ALEC for providing policymakers and the public with this valuable resource,” said Utah Sen. Pres. Wayne Niederhauser. “There is no question that states like Utah are reaping the benefits of sound fiscal policy. It is clear that limited regulation, low taxes, low debt and balanced budgets create the best environment for business, investment and jobs.”
Rich States, Poor States is an annual economic competitiveness study authored by Dr. Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, and Jonathan Williams, Director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council. This study “reviews fiscal policies that contribute to economic growth compared to policies that detract from such growth.”