REPORT: Having No Income Tax Gives States No Economic Boost

According to a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, states without an income tax received no discernible boost in growth over the last decade compared to states with relatively high income taxes. Lacking an income tax provided no boost to incomes or employment for the nine states that have chosen to abolish their levies, Bloomberg News reported:

The nine states with the highest personal income taxes on residents outperformed or kept pace on average with the nine that don’t tax their residents’ incomes, according to a study of economic output, unemployment and household income by the nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. […]

Per-capita economic output increased an average 10.1 percent in the nine “high-rate” states, led by Oregon, which grew 26 percent from 2001 to 2010. New York, Maryland, Vermont, Hawaii and California also grew faster than the 8.1 percent average for the 50 states.

Among states with no income tax, New Hampshire, Washington, Texas, Florida, Tennessee and Nevada had growth rates below the 50-state average, with Nevada’s economy shrinking 2.7 percent during the period. The average growth rate for the nine no-tax states was 8.7 percent. Three no-tax states grew faster than the national average, led by South Dakota and Wyoming at 22 percent.


Median household income declined an average 0.7 percent among the nine “high-rate” states, compared with a 3.5 percent drop in the nine states without such a levy. The study found no difference in the average unemployment rate between the two groups of states.

“Those who don’t believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny anymore, and actually look at facts and data, recognize that since supply-side economics has been implemented in America, the complete opposite of what supply siders had promised has occurred,” said Ralph Martire, executive director at the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. But that hasn’t stopped several states from attempting to implement supply-side tax cuts as a solution to their economic woes.