Florida #5 for Economic Outlook

According to the Orlando Business Journal, Florida’s economic outlook ranks fifth among the 50 U.S. states. So says of an annual study by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The 2010 “Rich States, Poor States” study presents state economic outlook rankings based on public policies that have a proven impact on growth, revealing which states have the best chance of experiencing economic recovery, and which need to re-examine their policies before they can expect to see improvement.

Utah, Colorado, Arizona and South Dakota ranked 1-4 in the study. The bottom five states include California, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont and New York.

Although the Sunshine State has been devastated by an unemployment rate topping 10 percent for most of the past year and a half, its economic outlook actually improved since the study’s inaugural edition in 2008, moving from 16th that year to 11th in 2009.

Florida scored highest for its top marginal personal income tax rate, state minimum wage and its right-to-work status. Low scores included tax burden (No. 45) and tort litigation treatment/judicial impartiality (No. 42).

“Our research shows that states with responsible spending and competitive tax rates enjoy the best economic outlook,” said study co-author Jonathan Williams, director of ALEC’s tax and fiscal policy task force. “States do not enact changes in a vacuum – every time they increase the cost of doing business in their state, their state brand immediately loses value.”

The full report can be downloaded at www.alec.org.

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