Survey: New Jersey 49th worst in business friendliness
New Jersey is at the bottom of the list in a new survey that looks at the impacts on small business and entrepreneurship.
The U.S. Business Policy Index 2014: Ranking the State on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship, released Dec. 11 by the national Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), ranks the states according to 42 different policy tax, regulatory and government spending measures. Only California fared worse than the Garden State in this year's survey.
"This is our 19th annual index and New Jersey once again is 49th. That's four years running in the 49th spot," said Ray Keating, SBE Council's chief economist and author of the study. "Our index looks at all 50 states. We look at tax and regulatory and spending issues and New Jersey comes in second-worst."
There are some positives for New Jersey though. The gas tax in the second lowest in the nation, its crime rate is the fourth lowest and its sales tax ranks ninth.
"After you get passed those it gets ugly real fast and the problem is New Jersey suffers in all of the big categories. There are very high personal income taxes. Corporate income taxes are high and of course property taxes - so the biggies really hurt," Keating explained.
Those negatives include: property taxes (49th in the nation), income taxes (46th), capital gains taxes (47th), interest tax rates (46th), corporate income taxes (44th) and local government debt (46th).
The index provides the most comprehensive comparison of state policies that affect entrepreneurship, small business and investment and policy decisions matter, according to Keating.
"There are real problems for New Jersey's economy and I would argue that largely they are policy-based," Keating noted.
The top five states in the 2014 Index are South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming and Florida.