Thursday, November 29, 2012

Washington in top third of best-managed states

One of the best tax climates for biz - that's us!
Washington has landed a respectable 16th on a list of the "best-run" states.  
The management-efficiency catalogue is compiled by 24/7 Wall St., LLC, a Delaware-based financial news and opinion outfit. After they go out far and wide all over the Internet, the company's articles are rerun by many of the world's toniest websites and portals for financial info and other news. You can find these items, for instance, in AOL's DailyFinance, MarketWatch, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, The Huffington Post, and -- well, you get the picture. 24/7 Wall St. says it "publishes over 50 articles per day and has readers throughout North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa." 
Each year in their work to determine these state-management standings, the folks at 24/7 Wall St. look at every state's financial health, standard of living, and government services. "The successful management of a state is difficult to measure," emphasizes 24/7 Wall St. "Factors that affect (a state's) finances and population may be the result of decisions made years ago. A state's difficulties can be caused by poor governance or by external factors, such as extreme weather."
Top benchmarks used in this state-of-the-states roundup are:
  • Debt per capita.
  • Budget.
  • Unemployment rate.
  • Median household income.
  • Percentage of population below poverty line.
Also at the 24/7 Wall St. website you can link to the firm's lists of:
A key factor in Washington's falling well out of the top 10 is our "budget shortfall equal to nearly 30 percent of our general fund in fiscal 2011 -- one of the largest (budget shortfalls) in the nation."
What shoots us up toward the top, though, is the TLC we invest in managing our pension liabilities. Pretty near every single dime of the Evergreen State's pension liabilities was funded as of fiscal 2010, a claim only three other states can better. Furthermore, and contrary to some proclamations, Washington actually possesses "one of the best tax climates for business." We are also one of the country's top exporters, with $9,463 in exports per capita last year, which is almost twice the national average of $4,752.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.