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Utah Still the Top Business-Friendly State: Rich States, Poor States in Washington Times

Lisa B. Nelson, CEO of ALEC, said the rankings confirm that workers and businesses “follow the jobs, the freedoms and the opportunity to achieve.”

The Washington Times highlighted the winners and losers in the 17th edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.

Utah stands as the most business-friendly state for the 17th straight year in an annual conservative economic forecast announced Tuesday, with New York dead last for the 11th consecutive year.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a network of conservative private investors and state lawmakers, found in the Rich States, Poor States report that Utah again dominated a range of 15 indicators after passing sweeping tax cuts for the fourth straight year. Utah has topped the list every year since it started in 2007.

Arthur Laffer, a member of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, worked with former Trump presidential adviser Stephen Moore and ALEC chief economist Jonathan Williams to rank all 50 states. Their analysis favored those with generous tax incentives, light regulatory burdens and low debt.

“Americans are voting with their feet and fleeing the high-tax, high-regulation states like California, New York and Illinois for pro-growth, pro-employment havens like Utah, Idaho and Arizona, where leaders rely on a set of free-market principles and pro-taxpayer reforms that landed those states at the top of our rankings,” Mr. Williams said.

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