North Carolina places 4th in new 50-state economic outlook rankings – OBX Today

North Carolina places 4th in new 50-state economic outlook rankings - OBX Today
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The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) unveiled the 17th edition of their flagship publication, Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index today. North Carolina fell from 2nd overall in 2023 to 4th among all 50 states for Economic Outlook.

This annual report evaluates the economic competitiveness and outlook of each state. Co-authored by Reagan Economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, economic policy expert Stephen Moore, and ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams, the report has served as a pivotal resource for lawmakers nationwide since its inception in 2007.

“Our dedication to pro-growth policies that take less from the hardworking taxpayers of North Carolina while supporting small business has paid off with a booming economy and a highly competitive workforce,” said State Rep. Jason Saine, Senior Chairman of the North Carolina House Appropriations Committee.

The Tar Heel State has seen one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the Economic Outlook rankings. After bottoming out in the 26th rank in 2012, a series of policy changes including the adoption of a flat personal income tax and the repeal of the death tax have cemented its position as one of the most competitive states in the country. With this fourth-place ranking in 2024 and planned personal and corporate income tax reductions already enacted into law, North Carolina is one of the top states to watch as its Economic Outlook continues to improve.

“North Carolina is a great example of a state prospering thanks to a commitment to free-market, pro-taxpayer policy reforms,” said Williams. “North Carolina policymakers continue to study and refine the state’s economic strategy, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.”

The report evaluates 15 economic policy variables to determine Economic Outlook rankings for each state, with these variables proving pivotal to state competitiveness and growth. The data underscores that states benefiting from tax reductions, debt reduction, and the maintenance of free-market policies are more successful in attracting new residents. Rich States, Poor States also features Economic Performance rankings based on the latest figures for GDP growth, net domestic migration, and non-farm employment growth. For Economic Performance, North Carolina ranked 11th in the nation.

“Amid ongoing dysfunction in Washington, states are seizing control,” said ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. “The latest edition of Rich States, Poor States illustrates the competitive spirit among states striving to become beacons of freedom and opportunity. This beneficial competition ultimately serves the American people, a principle ALEC is proud to champion.”

Other highlights from this year’s rankings include Idaho’s rise to the second spot from last year’s 4th place finish – largely attributed to its significant 2022 tax cuts. Texas also demonstrated significant progress, jumping from 13th to 6th place, due to the 2023 tax cuts—the largest in Texas history—and the nation’s 2nd highest level of absolute domestic migration. Conversely, New York’s consistent position at the bottom of the list is a consequence of its persistently high personal, corporate, property, and inheritance taxes, imposing a considerable burden on its taxpayers.

Find out how every state ranks here.