Yesterday’s post highlighted some very promising jobs numbers in Indiana. It’s no coincidence that others are recognizing the state’s continually improving business climate.
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council released its Small Business Tax Index 2014, rating states on 21 measures. Indiana placed 11th. And with personal income tax rates (positively impacting capital gains and dividends) and corporate income taxes decreasing further, the ranking just might improve.
Even more promising, the American Legislative Exchange Council unveiled its annual Rich States, Poor States report. Fifteen state policy variables are used to forecast economic outlook. The theory: states that spend less and tax less (particularly on productive activities such as working or investing) experience higher growth rates than states that spend and tax more. Indiana ranks third (14th in 2013 and 24th a year earlier), behind Utah and South Dakota.
We’ll take the good news, but won’t rest on any laurels or allow others to do the same. There are still too many challenges and too many goals to be reached in our Indiana Vision 2025 plan. But it’s nice to be moving in the right direction.
There’s no questioning that the creation of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has provided a major lift to Indiana’s business attraction and expansion efforts. Now the public-private organization is able to utilize some extra talking points with others taking notice of the state’s improved business climate and performance.
News of the CNBC survey (Indiana making the largest improvement nationwide from 26th to 13th overall with top 10 rankings in business friendliness, transportation and cost of doing business) traveled fast last week. Low business costs (especially compared to Midwest neighbors) were also cited in Forbes and Milken Institute reports. The IEDC has more in its Why Indiana section.
The state, and all those who made it possible, deserves credit for the improved performance. Fortunately, we know no one is going to be satisfied until we’re topping the various polls, lists and surveys. Indiana improved in eight of 10 categories in the CNBC tally, but moving from 48th to 37th in economy (I’d place us a little higher than that seeing the struggles elsewhere) certainly leaves room for more.
Other states, of course, aren’t standing still. We’ve got to continue to meet the education and workforce challenges, among others, to keep up and maintain the progress. That’s the impetus behind the Chamber’s Letters to Our Leaders and continuing to work with all involved for the benefit of our state’s employers and their employees.