New York is the worst state in the United States for its economic outlook, according to a ranking compiled by a conservative think tank.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published its 13th annual Rich States, Poor States ranking on Wednesday.
They looked at issues such as taxation and the economic competitiveness of the state.
Utah, for the 13th year running, was top of the ranking.
The state has no income tax and fewer regulations and taxes that limit growth, the authors said. It also has high levels of economic growth and new residents moving into the state.
New York, by contrast, was ranked worst – the sixth year running that the state has been condemned for its policies.
New York has been ranked the worst state in the nation for its economic outlook
The state was hard hit by COVID-19 and protests (pictured), and its economy is suffering
Stores which were already struggling due to the pandemic shut due to protests
Seven years ago, in 2013, ALEC ranked it 49th.
The reasons for its bottom place rating range from high taxes to high migration out of the state, said the report’s authors.
‘One of the ultimate measures of whether a state is successful or not is, are people voting with their feet towards that state or away from that state,’ said Jonathan Williams, one of the report’s authors.
‘Of course we’ve seen some big trend lines over the years now by changes in federal policy such as the limitation to state and local tax or SALT deduction that has put pressure on high-tax states and has driven migration away from states like New York.
‘We’ve recently seen these trends accelerate.’
Another, economist Stephen Moore, added: ‘You’re seeing a migration of people out of these high-tax states.
‘It’s really putting a stress on the budgets in states like New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island.’
New York is suffering from a lack of tourism, too, as cultural institutions are closed
A vandalized bank is seen in the Greenwich Village area of Manhattan on May 31
The other states in the bottom five were Vermont, New Jersey, Illinois and California.
Phil Scott of Vermont is the only Republican governor of the five.
Phil Murphy of New Jersey; J.B. Pritzker of Illinois; Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York are all Democrats.
At the top end of the scale, the governors of Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Indiana are all Republicans.
Only the governor of fifth-best North Carolina, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat.
Cuomo on August 3 acknowledged that the state, and in particular New York City, was in trouble.
Between March 1 and May 1, some five per cent of New Yorkers fled town. Crime is soaring in the city, with 1,000 people shot already this year and homicide up 50 per cent.
Homeless encampments have cropped up in several areas of Manhattan, to the distress and annoyance of residents.
Homeless people have taken to living along a stretch of Chelsea’s streets in Manhattan
Upper West Side residents are complaining about homeless people, pictured on August 7
The Guardian Angels perform a night patrol of the Upper West Side on August 10
Homeless people were spotted drinking in the Upper West Side and urinating publicly
Cuomo said he was begging people to return to New York City from their second-home retreats so they can pay taxes to help offset the state’s growing coronavirus-related revenue shortfall.
‘I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say: “You got to come back! We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!”
‘They’re not coming back right now.
‘And you know what else they’re thinking? “If I stay there, I’ll pay a lower income tax,” because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge.’
He noted that the wealthiest one per cent of New York’s population picks up roughly 50 per cent of the state’s tax burden.
The plea comes amid dimming hopes that the federal government’s next COVID-19 relief package will contain any additional aid for struggling state and local governments.
If additional dollars don’t come to New York on top of waning revenue streams, Cuomo and other state officials have said the hit could translate to 20 per cent cuts to health, education and local governments’ annual budget.
Donald Trump’s Executive Order on COVID relief, which sees unemployment benefits topped up by an additional $400 a week, with the states paying $100 of it, has been greeted with anger by struggling state governors.
States, unlike federal entities, must balance their budgets.