(Raleigh, N.C.) – North Carolina has a stronger economic outlook than 48 other states because it is controlling spending and lowering taxes, according to a key annual report issued by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
In 2011 North Carolina was mired in 26th place in the “Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” The study assesses 15 equally weighted policy variables to determine rankings. In the 2022 report North Carolina soared to No. 2 in the rankings behind only Utah. Jonathan Williams, ALEC executive vice president of policy, was quoted as saying the leap in rankings was “one of the most impressive turnaround stories of a state anywhere in America.”
The economic outlook ranking is a forecast for the future based on factors that state lawmakers directly influence through the legislative process. Those include personal and corporate income taxes, sales and property taxes, debt service as a share of tax revenue, tax expenditure limits and average workers’ compensation costs.
“This is tremendous news for North Carolina. I applaud the General Assembly leadership and members who have been instrumental in a decade-long mission to steer the state onto a path of much-needed reform based on disciplined tax and spending policies. At a time when there is widespread economic pessimism and concern, North Carolina residents can take heart that we have created a powerful economic engine with prospects for future sustainability rated second best in the nation. From a financial perspective, NC stands for Nothing Compares,” said State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA.
“By adhering to the principles of good but limited government, and understanding that the free market must be unshackled from burdensome regulations and overtaxation to achieve maximum strength, the legislature has moved the state forward,” Treasurer Folwell said. “Having the foresight and discipline to develop and implement a sound strategy to achieve those aims — often in the face of criticism and naysayers — required true courage. We are now enjoying the huge dividends of that resolve.”
Treasurer Folwell said the pro-growth tax and fiscal policies now in place dovetail with his efforts to maintain the state’s vital AAA credit rating, which allows governments at every level to be able to borrow at lower interest rates. That allows them to pump more money into public safety, education, transportation and infrastructure, which, in turn, enables more growth and stability.
“Business and industry seek certainty when making relocation or expansion decisions, and North Carolina has become a prime destination due to wise past actions and the future outlook,” Treasurer Folwell said. The pro-growth and pro-business policies have created more jobs, and stabilized the state’s financing of programs requiring long-term thinking. That is important to the Department of State Treasurer and the North Carolina Retirement Systems, the 26th largest pool of public money in the world, which has benefits promises that will exceed 100 years.
Low taxes and prudent spending help to create economic prosperity that can be spread across the board. That provides more North Carolinians with greater opportunities to experience the joy of achievement and upward mobility, while easing the economic pain and uncertainty encountered by those living on low and fixed incomes, Treasurer Folwell said.