10-3-14 – Vermont Ranks 49th in ALEC’s Economic Outlook

Posted by Rob Roper

ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council) has come out with its annual Rich States/Poor States publication. Once again, Vermont ranks 49th in terms of economic outlook. This is actually an improvement over 2013 when Vermont was dead last. However, Vermont has held one of the last two slots going back to 2008.

The rankings are based on a number of different categories. This is how Vermont scored:

Top marginal income tax rate – 43rd (8.59%)

Top Marginal Corporate Tax Rate – 36th (8.50%)

Property Tax Burden – 48th ($52.97/$1000 of personal income)

Sales Tax Burden – 7th ($12.90/$1000 of personal income)

Remaining Tax Burden – 48th (29.57/$1000 of personal income)

Estate Tax – 50th

Recently Legislated Tax Levied – 45th ($1.12/$1000 of personal income)

Debt Service as a Share of Tax Revenue – 6th (5.5%)

Public Employees per 10,000 of population – 44th (632.6)

State Minimum Wage – 48th ($8.73)

Average Workers Compensation Costs – 37 ($2.07/$100 of payroll)

Right to Work State? – 50th

Number of Tax Expenditure Limits – 34th

The booklet specifically cites Vermont’s minimum wage legislation, which will implement a $10.50 per hour minimum wage by 2018, and the fact that Vermont is one of just a handful of states to actually lose population over the past decade as large contributors to the dour predictions for our future.

However, Rich States/Poor States also ranks based on past economic performance, and here Vermont has proven better (though with much room for improvement) at 36th. This calculation takes into account Gross State Product, Absolute Domestic Migration, and Non-Farm Payroll employment.

Looking at both sides of the equation, ALEC has been predicting our utter demise for several years, and, though our economic performance does leave lots to be desired, we have managed to defy their expectations of utter cataclysm. Still, if we want to have a brighter future we have lots of room for improvement and lots of work to do.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivan Smith October 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

I take any thing ALEC says with a huge grain of salt. The Federal minimum wage should be at least $11/hour. As far as everything else, I would bet ALEC would put Kansas in the top 5, and they have a true fiscal problem and their economy has been suffering under what you folks and ALEC would applaud.


Ivan Smith October 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm
jim bulmer October 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Really? The Gov. keeps telling us everything is honkey dorey. VOTE REPUBLICAN in November and through the bums OUT!!!


Blondie October 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Paige should be in VT campaigning for Feliciano. Instead of the ‘d’ governor, Shumlin, in Maine with Cuomo campaigning for Paige’s opponent. Yea, Shumlin, do not go to the head of the class, except when it comes to your personal finances, not a bad return last year, 250,000 unearned income, capital gains and dividends. What’s stopping you from doing that for Vermont.


Hunter Melville October 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

I say make the minimum wage $20. Why should private sector employees be paid less than government bureaucrats?


Paul Poulos October 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Is thee any question why I moved to New Hampshire?


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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