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Which Governors Made the Honor Roll?

by Lee Schalk / /

If you’re tired of Washington gridlock and reckless spending like I am, look to the states! You’ll be pleased to hear that a handful of governors are doing right by the taxpayers who voted them into office. In their latest fiscal report card, the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards and Nicole Kaeding awarded four governors the coveted “A” grade. In their latest National Review piece, the authors gave us the scoop on the governors who made the “A” honor roll:

  • Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a bill replacing individual-income-tax rates of 6.0, 7.0, and 7.75 percent with a single rate of 5.75 percent. He also cut the corporate-tax rate from 6.9 to 5.0 percent and repealed the estate tax.
  • Sam Brownback of Kansas approved a plan in 2012 replacing three individual-income-tax rates with two and cutting the top rate from 6.45 to 4.9 percent. The reform also increased the standard deduction and reduced taxes on small businesses. Brownback cut income-tax rates further in 2013.
  • Paul LePage of Maine signed major income-tax cuts in 2011, and he is pushing for further tax reforms. State spending has been roughly flat in recent years, and LePage has trimmed spending on welfare, health care, and other programs.
  • Mike Pence of Indiana has been frugal on spending and a champion tax cutter. He signed bills to cut individual-income-tax rates 5 percent (the current rate of 3.4 percent will fall to 3.23 percent in 2017) and repeal the inheritance tax. He also approved a corporate-income-tax rate cut and a major reduction in property taxes on businesses.

Exciting stuff, right? And while the top scorers are all Republicans, you might be surprised to hear that a few Democrats also scored well. New York’s Andrew Cuomo received a “B” grade thanks to his corporate income, property, and estate tax cuts. Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee also received a “B,” following a two-percentage-point corporate tax cut, repeal of the franchise tax, and an estate tax reduction.

To read the full white paper, head over to Cato’s site. If you’re still in the scorecard mood, be sure to take a look at the latest edition of NTU Rates Congress. These scorecards are a great way to keep our elected officials accountable. Don’t forget to share with friends!