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S.C. recognized for business-friendly policies

Staff Report
Published Dec. 17, 2012

South Carolina ranks as one of the nation’s more entrepreneur-friendly states, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

South Carolina wound up No. 14 — flanked by Indiana at No. 13 and Mississippi at No. 15 — on the council’s 17th annual index of states with the friendliest policies and lowest costs for small business, the council said.

The index rated the states according to 46 different policy measures including an assortment of tax, regulatory and government spending measures.

Key positives for South Carolina included its fairly low individual capital gains tax, no inheritance tax, low consumption-based taxes, low gasoline and diesel taxes; and a low number of health insurance mandates, according to the council.

The state’s 7% personal income tax plus high dividend and interest taxes were listed as negatives, the council said. It also cited high workers’ compensation costs, and a high crime rate.

South Dakota ranked as the council’s No. 1 entrepreneur-friendly state followed by Nevada, No. 2; Texas, No. 3; Wyoming, No. 4; and Florida, No. 5.

In contrast, the states with the least favorable policy environments include Maine, No. 46; New York, No. 47; Vermont, No. 48; New Jersey, No. 49; and California, No. 50.

“Small businesses are benefiting from policy competition between the states, and it is encouraging to see leadership on key issues such as fiscal reform, sensible spending, and tax and regulatory relief,” said Karen Kerrigan, council president and CEO. “The difference in policy costs from state to state can be quite striking, and that matters for entrepreneurship and for a state's economy."