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ALEC in Center Square: Why Illinois Doesn’t Rival Prosperous Arizona

A growing number of states are pushing back on Washington’s big government agenda.

Jonathan Williams, ALEC Executive Vice President, Policy and Chief Economist, was recently featured in Center Square, speaking about the economic prosperity of Arizona compared to states like Illinois.

The American Legislative Exchange Council said Arizona closely followed the principles outlined in their yearly report “Rich States, Poor States,” including dropping the flat tax rate to 2.5% and saving families $350 a year.

In the latest edition of ALEC’s economic competitiveness report, Illinois ranked 45th in the country.

Chief Economist Jonathan Williams said Illinois’ property taxes are too high, and the fact that it is not a right-to-work state also is damaging.

“You’ve seen from many of your surrounding states in recent years, that can be all the difference in the world between manufacturing and new economic development coming into a state rather than going somewhere else,” Williams said.

Williams said millions of individuals and businesses voted with their feet and moved from high-tax states like Illinois to Arizona, which fueled the economy with record revenues that exceeded projections, allowing for additional tax cuts.

ALEC’s principles of taxation are simplicity, transparency, economic neutrality, equity and fairness, complementary, competitiveness, and reliability.

“A growing number of states are pushing back on Washington’s big government agenda and its harmful byproduct of damaging inflation by adopting tax reforms based on the ALEC Principles of Taxation,” Williams said. “The key policy lessons, outlined for 15 years in our annual report, ‘Rich States, Poor States’, give policymakers a nonpartisan, good government roadmap to live within their means, reduce onerous government regulations, and reduce tax burdens for hardworking American taxpayers.”

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