Certainly every governor would like to see his state well ranked on a compilation such as yours ("Report on the States," October 1983). Anyone who is not well ranked is disappointed. Nevertheless, I should respond to the way Nevada was treated in your ranking.
Any ranking, of course, depends upon what factors one includes I am certain that you have good reasons for all of them. It would appear that in most of the categories you selected, we are very close to the national average. You give no indication of how you assign weight to any of your categories, so it is impossible to determine how you arrived at your final rankings.
Clearly, the only areas in which Nevada is deficient are programs of different types of state assistance We have not found that to be a problem, for a very simple reason. Many states provide direct state assistance or guarantees in order to overcome difficulties that do not even exist in Nevada.
In particular, your measure of taxation is distorted. Nevada is a state with a small population but a huge tourism industry. Nevada has an annual tourist population equal to 35 times our resident population; what is more, these tourists spend many more [taxable] dollars here than in other states. Your tax factor takes the state's total tax burden and expresses it on a per capita basis, based on the population of the state. This is extremely misleading in regard to Nevada.
A far more accurate way of comparing tax burden is to take a hypothetical family or business in a given location and see what the total tax burden would be. The Wyoming Department of Economic Development did this for all 50 states. Nevada ranked 50th (that is, least taxed) in tax burden on a typical manufacturing company with $10 million in annual gross revenues. It is very difficult to reconcile that approach with yours.
Nevada has no personal or corporate income tax, and the average property tax rate is slightly over 05% of real value. Because of these figures and because of another factor that you disregarded entirely -- regulatory climate -- Nevada is a very attractive location for new business.
I assume you will be doing rankings of this sort in the future. If so, I trust that you will evaluate criticisms of the current study and make revisions based upon your judgment of their validity.