Tax Reform

Rich States, Poor States: Jonathan Williams on American Radio Journal

Americans continue seeking to enhance their standard of living while seeking states that provide the greatest opportunity and prosperity.

In his latest American Radio Journal commentary, ALEC EVP of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams discusses the 17th edition of Rich States, Poor States.

Just in time for Tax Day 2024, the 17th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index went live. The report I co-authored with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore uses data on the 15 essential economic policy variables that measure the competitiveness and economic outlook for all 50 states since we launched the project back in 2007.

This report documents states that cut taxes, reduce burdensome regulations, and craft taxpayer-focused budgets to attract more residents and jobs. But one thing that has not changed since the start of this project is Utah securing the top spot in the economic outlook rankings once again. It’s a position they earned thanks to years of consistent and innovative free market policy improvements such as the historic 2007  implementation of a flat tax, which greatly improved the fairness and efficiency of their personal income tax.

Utah’s pioneering truth in taxation policy helped keep property taxes in check, and most recently, the cuts to the flat income tax have helped keep the Beehive State out in front in the 2024 legislative session that just wrapped up in Salt Lake City. Lawmakers cut personal and corporate income tax rates for the third year in a row.

Americans continue to look for these opportunities to enhance their standard of living across state lines seeking a home that provides the greatest opportunity for prosperity. As the rankings have shown for 17 years in a row now, prosperity and growth come to states that embrace low taxes, free markets, and limited government. For more information and to see how your state ranks in rich states poor states, please visit

Listen to the full interview.

In Depth: Tax Reform

Mainstream economists, small business owners and taxpayers across the country understand that growth-oriented reforms mean increased opportunity for all. As demonstrated by the annual Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, sound tax and fiscal policies are critical to economic health, allowing businesses and households to flourish. A…

+ Tax Reform In Depth