Vermont's low ranking among states in a new Forbes magazine survey is evidence that the state is overtaxed and over regulated. And hardworking Vermonters are on the losing end of the state's anti-business policies.
According to Forbes' "Best States for Business" survey-which gets a lot of notice in CEO offices around the world-Vermont is ranked 45 of 50, making only five other states worse.
Nearby Maine fared worse than Vermont; it was ranked at the bottom as the worst state for business in the USA. Fiscally conservative Utah was ranked no. 1, as the best state for business in the USA.
Forbes placed Vermont at 42 in business costs, 45 in government regulations, 39 in economic climate and 45 in economic growth-not the kind of news the state's cheerleading section will be shouting about anytime soon.
The long and the short of the Forbes' survey: businesses will likely be looking elsewhere to set up shop. Vermont's image may be as a nice place to visit and buy some maple syrup, but it doesn't have the image of a very nice place to set up shop.
A lot of the blame of the state's dismal performance can be laid at the feet of the state's legislature, says the National Federation of Independent Business in Vermont.
According to Shawn Shouldice, director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Vermont, the state's ranking should motivate voters, in the waning days of Campaign 2010, to give economic issues their full attention in the voting booth.
"Ninety-six percent of the employers in Vermont are small business owners, and they are among the most heavily taxed and over-regulated business owners in the country," said Shouldice.
"Our local businesses are competing regionally, nationally and globally, and they can't afford policies that make Vermont one of the least competitive places in the country any longer. The numbers make it easy to understand why our economy has been stagnant. There's no question that excessive state taxes and regulations are a drag on the economy and that they are costing us jobs, opportunities and revenue," Shouldice noted.