The Texas Comptroller just released a “50-State Scorecard” that compiled from many different sources a list of 26 different measures involving business climate, tax burdens, entrepreneurial activity, unemployment, population characteristics and more. You can find this compilation of state rankings on the comptroller’s website at http://www.comptroller.texas.gov/fiscalnotes/50states/.
On many business-related measures, Texas ranks among the best of the 50 states. For example, it is ranked as the best state for business and the second best state in which to make a living. Texas ranks in the top quartile of states for many economic indicators.
With respect to various “societal” indicators, Texas does not rank so well. For example, the state ranks in the lower quartile of states for (1) economic opportunity and financial security, (2) income poverty rate, and (3) unbanked households. Texas ranks 49th – only ahead of California – in residents over 25 having a high school diploma. More than 18 percent of Texans over age 25 lack this credential, without which it is hard to escape poverty.
Of course, Texas has no personal income tax. (Despite what we say, people outside of Texas call the Texas Franchise Tax an income tax on business.) However, we have the third highest residential property tax among the states. While Texas has the sixth lowest state debt per capita, it has the third highest local government debt per capita.
After carefully reading all the diverse statistics, I reach a conclusion. I am proud to be a Texan and glad to live in the Lone Star State, except during the summer, tornado season, 100-year floods, and years-long droughts.