With the Indiana state government enjoying a $1 billion-plus budget surplus while most states are reporting deficits and some are asking the federal government for bailouts and other help, Indiana citizens aren’t the only ones taking note of the turnaround in the state under Gov. Mitch Daniels’ (R) leadership since he took office in 2005.
Governing magazine in November 2008 named Daniels its Public Official of the Year for achievement in government service. In March 2008 Governing listed Indiana as the most-improved state in its “Grading the States” assessment.
Indiana was named the most-improved state for business in the nation by TV channel CNBC in July 2008 and by Site Selection Magazine in November 2008.
Taxpayer advocacy organizations also give the state high marks.
The Tax Foundation, a private national tax research organization, ranked Indiana first in the Midwest and 12th nationally in its 2008 Business Tax Climate Index. Rankings for nearby states were much lower: Illinois (28th), Kentucky (36th), Michigan (29th), and Ohio (46th).
Steve Stanek ([email protected]) is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Budget & Tax News.