An index released last week by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranked Wyoming in the top 5 states for policies friendly toward entrepreneurs.
Wyoming ranked No. 4 after South Dakota, Nevada and Texas, and ahead of Florida at No. 5. Washington, Utah, Colorado and Arizona respectively filled the sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth slots to fill out the West's solid representation in the top 10.
"With all of the focus on federal policy in recent times, it is important to remember that policies at the state level have a major effect on entrepreneurs and businesses for better or for worse," Karen Kerrigan, CEO of the council, said in a release. "Many governors understand that a friendly policy environment is critical to attracting investment and business, and they are working to improve key policies that will help drive job growth, entrepreneurship and economic opportunity."
The index praised Wyoming for its tax structure that omits income and corporate taxes, though its property and unemployment taxes are among the highest in the nation. It also highlighted Wyoming's low number of health insurance mandates, cheap electricity and low crime rates. It also called out Wyoming's low gasoline tax, which at 14 cents is only bested by Alaska's 8 cents. But that ranking is in danger of slipping if Gov. Matt Mead's desire to push the fuel tax to 24 cents
during the 2013 legislative session comes to fruition.
"The difference in policy costs from state to state can be quite striking, and that matters for entrepreneurship and for a state's economy," Kerrigan said.
The author of the study said policy decisions at a state level matter to business within a state.
"But it's hit-or-miss with elected officials," said economist Raymond Keating, author of the index. "As illustrated by this index, some get it, and some clearly do not."
Rounding out the list of those that "don't get it" are states in the bottom five slots: Maine, 46; New York, 47; Vermont, 48; New Jersey, 49; and California, 50.The U.S. Business Policy Index 2012
can be viewed in its entirety here.
For more Daily news click here and look under 'Breaking News'