North Carolina has been named a state with one of the “most anti-entrepreneur policy environments” in a new report released by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina ranked an abysmal 37th, behind all of her neighbors and the entire southeastern United States except for Maryland. The report compiled the state’s positives and considerable negatives for small business owners and entrepreneurs:
• No corporate or individual alternative minimum tax
• Relatively low property taxes
• Fairly low level of state and local government spending and debt
• High personal income and individual capital gains taxes
• Imposition of a state death tax
• High unemployment taxes
• High number of health insurance mandates
• Fairly high crime rate
• High gas and diesel taxes
For those paying attention to big-business focused rankings such as Forbes and Site Selection, North Carolina’s low score may come as a shock. As Civitas’ Brian Balfour has written, the reports highlighting North Carolina’s problems seems to correlate much more closely with our economic conditions than the rosier rankings often touted by Governor Perdue. As the recent Chiquita and failed Continental Tire corporate welfare deals have shown, our state’s policymakers seem to be more focused on securing high profile deals to help themselves secure re-election than in creating an atmosphere where entrepreneurs can thrive and grow.
The General Assembly and Governor could immediately take several steps to improve this ranking: Repeal the unpopular death tax, cap the gas tax, and stop implementing onerous health insurance requirements (instead of going forward with Obamacare’s mandated healthcare exchange).