Kansas down one spot in latest ALEC Rich States, Poor States report

The twelfth edition of Rich States, Poor States from the American Legislative Exchange Council examines the latest trends in state economic growth.

“Kansas has fallen all the way from number 11 back in 2013 to number 27 this year,” said Johnathan Williams with ALEC. “While it’s a slight loss in this past year, I think the longer-term trend lines are certainly concerning.”

The data ranks the 2019 economic outlook of states using 15 equally weighted policy variables, including various tax rates, regulatory burdens and labor policies. The areas where Kansas does best in the ALEC rankings are where it does the least.

“Those are things such as being a right-to-work state,” said Williams. “We’ve seen that debate play out in many Midwestern states. In fact, your neighbors in Missouri have debated that over recent years. Also, not having a state-level death tax. This is something that Kansas has avoided for quite awhile.”

An area where Kansas ranks especially low has to do with recent tax policy.

“Only one other state in America has raised taxes more than Kansas has as a percentage of income,” said Williams. “Keeping things on an apples-to-apples comparison, some of the big tax increases in recent years have certainly dimmed Kansas’ star, if you will, on its economic outlook in our report.”

Kansas is 27th in this year’s survey. It has ranked either 26th or 27th in 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2019.