Home > posts > Arthur Laffer: States With Lower Income Taxes Enjoy Higher Growth, Income
October 5th, 2010 9:52 am
Arthur Laffer: States With Lower Income Taxes Enjoy Higher Growth, Income
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Arthur Laffer brought us the famed Laffer Curve, which plotted how higher tax rates can paradoxically reduce incoming revenues by inhibiting economic growth.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Laffer adds to his legacy by showing how state income taxes lead to lower economic growth, personal income and population growth.  The impetus for Laffer’s analysis is ballot Initiative 1098 in the state of Washington, which would impose a new 5% income tax on individuals earning over $200,000 or couples over $400,000 per year.  An additional 4% would be heaped upon individuals earning over $500,000 or couples earning over $1 million.  Laffer crunches the real-world economic numbers, which clearly demonstrate that this is a destructive idea.  He shows that the nine states without a personal income tax enjoy 26.5% higher economic growth, 13.1% higher personal income growth and 9.4% higher population growth than the nine staes with the highest personal income tax rates. The highest-tax states also suffer 22% lower tax revenue growth and underperform in standard of living.

As Laffer neatly summarizes, “Each and every state that introduced an income tax saw its share of total U.S. output decline.”  He can’t stop states from descending into economic self-destruction, but he provides a great service by providing this warning beacon.

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