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Montana remained status quo for 2012 in terms of economic performance and economic outlook, in a report issued Wednesday by a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan association of state legislators.
The state retained its ranking from 2011 of No. 3 for economic performance and 36th for economic outlook, according to the fifth edition of "Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index."
The economic performance ranking was based on personal income per capita (Montana ranked fifth, however, a report released in late March by the Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the state at 35th), absolute domestic migration (Montana ranked 21st) and non-farm payroll employment (Montana ranked seventh).
The economic outlook ranking was based on 15 criteria that included: average workers' compensation costs (ranked 50th), remaining tax burden (46th), top marginal personal income tax rate (21st), sales tax burden (No. 1) and property tax burden 36th). The state ranked third for "Recently Legislated Tax Changes," 50th as a "Right-to-Work State," 38th for Public Employees per 10,000 population and 38th for State Minimum Wage.
The top 10 states for economic outlook were, in order: Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, Arizona and Georgia.
The bottom five states for Economic Outlook are: Oregon (45), Hawaii (46), Maine (47), Illinois (48), Vermont (49) and New York (50).
The top 10 states for economic performance for 200-2010, were, in order: Wyoming, Texas, Montana, North Dakota, Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The bottom five for Economic Performance are: New Jersey (45), Indiana (46), California (47), Illinois (48), Ohio (49) and Michigan (50).
The study's authors noted that states without state income tax had 25 percent higher growth and that job growth for states with no income tax was 10 times faster than states with income tax. They also noted that state "experimenting" with higher taxes are not doing as well as states that do not.
Montana compared to neighboring states Economic Performance
North Dakota 4
South Dakota 7
South Dakota 2
North Dakota 5
Montana Economic Outlook rankings since 2008
The Big Sky Business Journal
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Billings, MT 59103