40 Other States Have Better Business Climates Than Iowa

business-debtOn November 3, 2009, Governor Chet Culver released his second campaign ad of the year titled: “Stronger than Ever.” The ad highlights the “tough” decisions Governor Culver has made throughout his first term in office and proclaims that “Iowa is one of the best states to do business.” However, a recent survey of the business climate here in Iowa by a nonpartisan organization reports otherwise.

Earlier this month, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council released its 14th annual analysis of the public policies affecting the business climate in each state and the District of Columbia. After collecting their data they then ranked each state on 1 – 51 scale (one being the best business climate and 51 the worst). “The 2009 Small Business Survival Index: ranking the policy environment for entrepreneurship across the nation” has ranked Iowa 41st.

In their analysis, the SBEC examined a number of policy issues to determine each state’s overall ranking. Some of the factors include: personal income taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes, unemployment taxes, the number of health insurance mandates and crime rates, among others. Here is how Iowa ranked in the above categories:

    Personal Income Taxes: 25th
    Capital Gains Taxes: 41st
    Corporate Income Taxes: 49th
    Property Taxes: 33rd
    Unemployment Taxes: 47th
    Health Insurance Mandates: 6th
    Crime Rate: 9th
Conversely, Iowa’s right to work status, low crime rate and relatively low number of health insurance mandates are Iowa’s strengths.

As illustrated in the above rankings, Iowa scores very poorly in corporate income taxes, unemployment taxes, capital gains taxes and property taxes. It also does not have a very competitive personal income tax structure. Conversely, Iowa’s right to work status, low crime rate and relatively low number of health insurance mandates are Iowa’s strengths.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the Iowa economy. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engines that drive economic growth and job creation. It is imperative that the legislature enact policies that provide employers with the ability to thrive rather than struggle. House Republicans will soon be announcing a number of proposals that seek to strengthen the business environment in Iowa. The House Republican plan is designed to help the over 100,000 Iowans currently out of work to find a job and turn the economy around.

The states with the best business climates include: South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Washington, Florida, South Carolina, Colorado, Alabama and Virginia. Those joining Iowa with an anti entrepreneurship and small business climate include: Hawaii, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New York, California, New Jersey and Washington DC.

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