News: Quick Takes

Report: N.C. ranks 5th nationally in economic competitiveness

(CJ photo by Maya Reagan)
(CJ photo by Maya Reagan)

North Carolina is among the top five states in the nation on metrics such as tax rates, size of state government, and income transfer programs, according to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Only four states — Utah, Florida, Oklahoma, and Wyoming — came in ahead of North Carolina on ALEC’s economic outlook rankings. The Tar Heel State ranked fifth in last year’s report, as well.

New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois, and Minnesota ranked as the bottom five states.

Overall, the report found that even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, “states with policies such as low or no income taxes and worker freedom are more economically competitive and better positioned for wage growth, job creation, and domestic in-migration compared to states with higher taxes and government spending.”

“This lofty ranking reflects a decade of sound, responsible fiscal policy by conservative leaders in the General Assembly,” said Brian Balfour, senior vice president of research at the John Locke Foundation. “Sensible restraints on spending growth have enabled aggressive tax reforms that have made North Carolina far more competitive for investment and job growth. Our state’s bright economic outlook is especially good news for those on the margins of employment, because it means more opportunities for those who would be left behind in a more stagnant economy.”