PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s economic outlook ranked No. 41 among the 50 U.S. states according to the 2014 ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index released Tuesday by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The annual report ranks each state according to 15 equally weighted policy variables, including personal and corporate income tax rates, number of public employees, tax burden and the minimum wage. Economists Arthur B. Laffer and Stephen Moore co-authored this year’s report, its seventh edition, with Director Jonathan Williams of ALEC’s Center for State Fiscal Reform.
Rhode Island’s ranking at No. 41 in the 2014 report was an improvement over last year, when the Ocean State landed at No. 45.
Among the rated variables, Rhode Island earned relatively high rankings in public employees per 10,000 of population (No. 7), sales tax burden (No. 14), remaining tax burden (No. 23) and top marginal personal income tax rate (No. 26).
For two categories, the ALEC-Laffer report ranked each state either No. 1 for a “yes” answer or No. 50 for a “no” answer in response to whether the state is a right-to-work state giving workers the option to join or support a union, and whether an estate/inheritance tax is levied in the state. In both categories, Rhode Island ranked No. 50.
Rhode Island also scored poorly for property tax burden (No. 47), debt service as a share of tax revenue (No. 42), top marginal corporate income tax rate (No. 40) and state minimum wage (No. 39).