Study puts NY dead last in economic outlook

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 April 2015 at 1:50 pm

New York ranks dead last in economic competitiveness among the 50 states, according to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Utah is the top-rated state and New York is last, the same place in the 2014 report.

ALEC, a conservative organization based in Washington, D.C., said New York’s high taxes and poor business climate put the state in 50th place.

The report weighs 15 variables in determining the economic outlook for a state. New York ranks near the bottom in many of those variables, including the highest top marginal corporate income tax rate at 17.16 percent, the 49th highest top marginal personal income tax rate at 12.70 percent, the 46th highest property tax burden at $46.19 per $1,000 of assessed property, and the 43rd highest minimum wage at $8.75 an hour compared to $7.25 federal minimum.

New York also ranks among the most costly for debt service as a share of tax revenue, the percentage of public employees in the population (596 per 10,000), workers’ compensation costs ($2.75 per $100 of payroll) and the estate tax.

The report does credit New York for some recent legislative changes that have saved $1.48 per $1,000 of personal income for New Yorkers.

A state assemblyman from Western New York said the report is evidence that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposals have done little to make the state better for businesses, despite the governor’s bold proclamations otherwise.

“As a small-business owner, I can tell you firsthand things aren’t getting better and that’s reflected in this study by ALEC,” said David DiPietro, an assemblyman from East Aurora. “Instead of focusing on cutting taxes and red tape for families and businesses, Albany spent the entire budget process debating liberal social policies and wondering if we’d wrap up debate before midnight.”

ALEC also measures the domestic migration in states over 10 years and found New York had 1,519,449 people move out from 2004 to 2013, the most of any state in the country.

“This economic outlook rating is exactly why I voted against the entirety of the budget this year,” DiPietro said. “We have families fleeing a state they spent their entire lives in as residents because there’s no work here. ALEC didn’t fall for START-UP NY and the 76 jobs it created. We have been 49th or 50th in economic outlook every year since 2008. It’s time to reverse course and let the free market work.”

To see the report from the American Legislative Exchange Council, click here.