State Government

NH #1 in taxpayer ROI; VT 10th worst

by Lou Varricchio

Vermont was ranked low, 41 among 50 states, when it comes to taxpayers’ return on investment (ROI). In other words, taxpayers pay-in to Montpelier but don’t see much overall for their investment.

The Green Mountain State’s 10th worst showing in the 50-state taxpayer ROI standings was vetted in a new online report by the personal finance website WalletHub.com. Titled “2021’s States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI”, WalletHub ranked New Hampshire, Vermont’s neighbor to the east, number one in taxpayer ROI with Hawaii in last place.

According to WalletHub’s Diana Polk, “WalletHub used 30 metrics to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services across five categories — education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure and pollution — taking into account the drastically different rates at which citizens are taxed in each state.”

Despite the low overall ranking, Vermont did well in selected ROI areas such as, for example, education and health yet the state’s total taxes-per-capita pulled the overall rating down to 10th worst in the nation.

Selected taxpayer ROI rankings in Vermont out of the 50 states (One=best, 25=average) are as follows:

  • 41st – Overall ROI
  • 48th – Total taxes per capita (population age 18 and over)
  • Second – Education (Vermont was ranked in the top five of best schools in the USA)
  • Seventh – Health
  • Sixth – Safety
  • 36th – Economy
  • Sixth – Infrastructure and pollution

One of WalletHub’s panel of outside experts, Dr. Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for Public Choice and Private Enterprise at North Dakota State University, said local governments are the biggest wasters of taxpayer dollars.

“Economic development: Whether it is providing public funds for the latest sports stadium or offering tax incentives to encourage investment and development, these types of programs rarely deliver what they promise,” Jackson noted. “If a project makes economic sense for a private company it will usually be executed with or without public assistance. Of course, there are clear beneficiaries of such programs which tend to benefit the politically connected and the wealthy at the expense (lower taxes for some mean higher taxes for others) of everyone else.”

According to Jackson, “Local governments should focus on their core functions which include doing those things that cannot or will not be done by the private sector. Do those things well and let the private sector do what it does well. There is no silver bullet solution to the fiscal impact of the pandemic which is outside of the control of local governments.”

Added Polk, “74% of people (we surveyed) think… the government has not spent their tax dollars wisely during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Republished from the Sunday, March 23 Sun Community News.

Categories: State Government

5 replies »

  1. Imagine how well we could be doing if we did not have a bunch of irresponsible spend thrift, lefties under that “Golden Dumb” ? They should be expected to run this state the same way as we have to run our households. We set a budget, and then must live within it. Them ? not so much. They establish their wish list, and then set their budget to cover their…… I don’t know about everybody else, but if I bought a new truck, and then told my boss I needed a raise to cover it, well, you would probably get the same answer as me. But for these irresponsible pinheads on the other hand, that is business as usual. The maddening part of this equation is that each and every one of these irresponsible pinheads does indeed understand how to set a budget and stick within one as they do it at home with their family finances, but when it’s not their money, Yee Haw !!!!!!!!!

  2. I keep hearing that Vermont has twice the gov’t employees as NH.
    And NH has twice the population to serve as Vt.

    Therfore, Vt. pays 4 TIMES as much as NH in taxes,
    and the “extra employees, not only cost us more in payroll,
    but also more in mandates and requirements.

    How much simpler is this problem, than THAT?

    • Doug, without big government how can the state manage all the social programs that so many cradle to gravers seem to think we can’t live without ?

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