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).
Matthew Ruff says
Whie I can’t speak to the nature of mercantile or other businesses, I can speak to the problems in the construction industry.
NC has very relaxed and generous licensing laws with regards to going into business as a construction contractor. We have created a problem for ourselves, as more and more “mom & pop” outfits spring up, and compete each other into oblivion. And as a further reflection of this, construction wages here are some of the lowest in the country. Furthermore, as the “mom & pop” outfits progress, and increase their bonding capabilities, they pose a threat to the larger, more established shops in the state that often pay a much better wage and benefit package. The larger shops have a much higher overhead, and higher opeational costs, thereby supporting more jobs for North Carolinians. But it is this “cost of doing business” that gives the ankle-biters a toe-hold in the market.
Indeed, it is a very sad state of affairs. When will the anti-labor and anti-business powers that control this state realize that the wheels are coming off?
Well said Matthew …
Neal Inman says
I don’t think more licensing requirements or regulations are helpful-they drive up prices for consumers and prevent entrepreneurs’ access tot eh marketplace. Other than in extreme cases where malpractice can seriously harm someone (doctors, lawyers, etc.), a good portion of licensing is a net loss for society.
Matthew Ruff says
Neal, I agree that we do not need new licensing. We need to replace the existing regulations with rules that make sense. To allow someone to run an electrical (or other) shop from an 8X12 storage shed behind their house, while real businesses suffer is ridiculous. And that is exactly what we have here in NC. As far as your malpractice statement… I would admonish to you that the wiring in your house is just as deadly as a doctor that graduated at the bottom of his class, if not more deadly.
Neal Inman says
I think I can largely agree with what you said. NC should regularly go through state laws to make sure we have commonsense regulations.