Every couple of months or so, some organization will put out some so-called rankings of business climate claiming that North Carolina is just a wonderful place to do business — with little discussion on the criteria used to determine those rankings.
Today, a new set of rankings were released by the Development Counsellors International (DCI) which showed North Carolina as the #2 state for best business climate. So everything is peachy, right?
Well, some will take these rankings as a justification of the corporate welfare and high corporate tax rates that North Carolina currently has — basically saying, "We must be doing something right."
Actually, if you dig a little deeper, it’s more something North Carolina is not doing which is keeping our rankings high. The number one response of those who picked North Carolina as having the best business climate was "Labor (education levels, cost)." Basically, North Carolina is ranked high because we have a well-educated labor force and we are a right-to-work state.
As we know, the big labor unions have targeted North Carolina as fertile ground to make gains. But the reason we’re ranked by corporate executives as the #2 best business climate is because we are keeping the unions out.
Oh, one more thing on the incentives front… North Carolina was ranked the #1 best business climate in 1996 — a year we had no corporate incentives. Since then we’ve added Bill Lee (1996) and JDIG (2002) and the One North Carolina Fund, and our ranking has actually decreased!
Texas, the #1 rated best business climate this year has a 1.0% corporate tax rate.