So Where Do We Stand As A State?
From NFIB Hawaii May, 2013
The sixth annual release this month of the Rich States, Poor States index by the American Legislative Exchange Council gave Hawaii a fair mark of 17th best in the nation in its Economic Performance Rank, but a dismal 40th in its Economic Outlook Rank.
A couple of months prior, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University released its Freedom In The 50 States index and was much harsher to Hawaii, ranking it only 47th best in the nation. Around the same time, the Tax Foundation released its annual Fact&Figures, How Does Your State Compare? report and wasn’t much kinder than Mercatus, ranking the state 37th overall on its State Business Tax Climate Index 2013 page (Table 4).
ALEC measured every state through 15 variables to come up with its rankings, the Tax Foundation’s Table 4 used five, and Mercatus dragged each state over more than 200 coals, including many social, criminal, and educational measurements.
Rich States, Poor States index found Hawaii’s sales tax burden (50th) and top marginal personal income tax rate (48th) particularly worrisome. The Facts&Figures index also found the state’s individual income tax rate (41st) too high for its taste. And the 50 States report made cutting taxes and reforming the tort system its top recommendations for Hawaii.
None of the three reports included any of the recent actions taken in the 2013 session of the Hawaii Legislature. All three reports can be read in their entirety by clicking their covers below.