Despite COVID-19, New Report Credits Georgia Policies for Improved Economic Outlook Ranking


Cutting taxes, paying down debt and maintaining free market policies this past year helped Georgia and other states improve their rankings for economic competitiveness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Arlington, Virginia-based organization this week released a report that praised Georgia, among other states, for its economic policies. Members of that group, The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published the report, which they titled Rich States, Poor States. This is the report’s 14th edition.

Last year Georgia ranked 21st out of the 50 states in economic outlook. This year it ranked 14th, according to the report.

Rich States, Poor States studied, among other factors, Georgia’s top marginal personal income tax rate, property and sales tax burdens, the state’s minimum wage requirements, and the state’s number of public employees.

Arizona edged out Georgia and ranked 13th in economic outlook. Wisconsin fell behind Georgia and ranked 15th, according to the report.

“The new edition finds that even through the 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,” according to an ALEC press release.

“The new rankings also reveal that, as proven by new 2020 Census data, Americans ‘vote with their feet’ by moving from high-tax to low-tax states.”

ALEC chief economist and report co-author Jonathan Williams said in the press release that Utah ranked first in economic competitiveness.

“Utah, at the top of the rankings for the 14 year in a row, solidified its well-deserved first place spot this year by prioritizing sound economic policy,” Williams said in the press release.

“Utah has an incredibly strong track record of pro-taxpayer reforms in recent years, including the adoption of a flat personal income tax rate, pension reform for its previously endangered system, and the state’s innovative approach to property tax reform. The success of Utah’s ‘truth in taxation’ policy for local property taxes, has been noticed by other states. Truth in taxation has already passed nearly unanimously in Kansas this session, and is being considered in Nebraska. It is a great development to see states follow the lead of competitive state policy, which brings with it job creation and shared economic success for all.”

Williams co-wrote the report with Reagan Economist Arthur B. Laffer, and FreedomWorks economist Stephen Moore.

Laffer said in the press release that economically competitive states were better prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In fact, states ranked highly in this report have also seen lower rates of unemployment and fewer persistent economic problems post-economic shutdown than uncompetitive, low-ranked states,” Laffer said.

“This publication acts as a guide to the solutions states used to stay resilient, and even prosperous.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]











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