An annual ranking of states and their economic performance indicates that those enacting pro-growth policies continue to be more attractive to taxpayers and business owners.
It's the 11th edition of "Rich States, Poor States," a publication of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
"You have New York, California, New Jersey in the bottom ten again this year," says economist Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). "New Jersey just raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour, so they continue to move in a direction of becoming more high cost for businesses and for hiring."
Utah was in the top spot, something it has enjoyed for many years now. Idaho, Indiana, North Dakota, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Wyoming, South Dakota and Virginia round out the top 10.
Williams explains: "It's essentially a guide for state legislators as well as business owners and hard-working taxpayers across the country as to what makes a rich state versus a poor state; what are the policies that states enact within their state capitals that make them more competitive for job creation, for income growth, for wage growth; and how do they become that prosperous state that everyone would like to be."
He co-authors "Rich States, Poor States" with economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore. Laffer was an advisor to the Reagan administration. Moore is an economist for The Heritage Foundation.
"We have an entire chapter for how federal tax reform has been a game-changer at the state level and has spurred a whole new wave of tax reductions across state capitals," Williams continues.
"Something like 20 states have reduced taxes in the wake of the federal tax reform with President Donald trump; and we expect that to continue because of unforeseen surpluses [and] the strong economy that has done nothing but encourage states to move the ball forward for their hard-working taxpayers."
ALEC observes that states that fail to adapt to the current competitive environment can fall behind "by simply standing still."