Proud to boast the title of “jobs governor,” Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue recently capitalized on a higher CNBC state ranking than in previous years. The ranking was released last week, which placed North Carolina 4th in the nation for top states for business. The Tar Heel state was ranked 6th in 2008 and 5th in 2007.
“This shows that the hard work of the past year has paid off – our investments in education to build the workforce of tomorrow, policies that create a more business-friendly climate and our aggressive recruiting,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “When I took office, I pledged to take any meeting and make any call to bring jobs to this state. There’s nothing I love more than convincing a corporate executive of what a great place this is to live and work.”
CNBC ranks states in 10 categories: cost of doing business; workforce; quality of life; economy; transportation & infrastructure; technology & innovation; education; business friendliness; access to capital; and cost of living.
Under the cost of doing business category, CNBC states:“Cost is a major consideration when a company chooses a location. We looked at the tax burden, including those on individuals, property, business taxes and even gasoline” – you don’t say? It continues, “Utility costs can add up to a huge expense for business, and they vary widely by state. We also looked at the cost of wages and workers’ compensation insurance, as well as rental costs for office and industrial space (rental cost information furnished by CoStar Reality Information.)”
Looking at the cost of doing business here alone, how can a state that in 2008 ranked 13th worst – according to Business Management Daily – on business tax index improve so dramatically within a year, and after the General Assembly voted to increase taxes across the board during the 2009 long session, receive this coveted distinction? If NC has such a business-friendly climate, why do we have to continue to bribe companies to come here??
“Also rated are top corporate income tax rates (North Carolina ranks 26th at 6.9%), top corporate capital gains tax rates (27th at 6.9%) and sales, gross receipts and excise taxes as a share of personal income (18th at 3.09%).
Other factors include unemployment tax rates as a share of state average pay (North Carolina is 37th at 2.59%), state gas taxes (38th at 30.2 cents per gallon) and diesel taxes (39th at 30.2 cents per gallon.)”
Perdue’s vision may be a bit skewed.