ST. PAUL, Minn- A recent evaluation of each state’s return on investment ranked Minnesota 35th, in spite of the fact that it ranked best on the government services provided.
The report by WalletHub ranked Minnesota first on overall government services. The study equally weighted a state’s status in five categories: education, health, safety, economy, and infrastructure & pollution.
Minnesota scored in the top 10 in all five categories. WalletHub ranked the state first overall in health, second in economy, fourth in infrastructure & pollution, sixth in education, and eighth in safety.
In spite of that the state ranks 35th on return on investment because the tax rate is so high. Minnesota ranks 47th worst for total taxes paid per capita. WalletHub restricted this to the amount of taxes paid per person age 18 or older. The only states that fared worse on this metric where Hawaii, Vermont, and North Dakota. Their return on investment ranks were 49th, 41st, and 50th respectively.
“There tends to be a non-linear relationship between spending and performance outcomes,” Nicholas Luke Fowler, an assistant professor of public policy at Boise State University told WalletHub, “A study from the later 1990’s found that environmental outcomes were connected more to socio-economics and politics than to spending levels.”
On average traditionally conservative states ranked 21st for return on investment, while more liberal states ranked 32nd. Aside from North Dakota, the rest of Minnesota’s neighbors all have a much higher return on investment rank. Wisconsin ranked 15th, Iowa 13th, and South Dakota second. South Dakota had the ninth lowest per capita tax rate, while providing the 16th best government services. Wisconsin and Iowa ranked 35th and 36th on per capita taxes, but provided the sixth and third best government services respectively.