For quite some time Vermont’s long suffering business community has remained relatively silent as our political leaders continue to pile tax, spending and regulatory burdens on our economy. When concerns have been voiced, they have largely been ignored. It looks like Vermont’s business community is starting to lose its patience. A recent WCAX-TV article indicates that some business leaders are not going to have their concerns brushed off so easily:
“Vermont government officials have tried to deflect complaints that the state is anti-business — but the issue keeps coming up. Some business leaders sounded off about Vermont’s business climate Monday at a legislative breakfast sponsored by the lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.”
Some question the seriousness of our commitment to maintain a healthy business environment:
“I think we rely way too much on a quality of life and wow, isn’t it great to have a business here in Vermont,” said Ted Castle, President of Rhino Foods.
Here are the obstacles that they see has hindering the creation of a healthy economic climate here in Vermont:
A lot of the discussion focused on the problems that hinder prosperity in Vermont — specifically the high cost of living, the high cost of doing business, and high taxes. “For an employee, housing, taxes, energy and health care make Vermont one of the most expensive states in the country to live,” said Debra Royce with Precision Eyewear. “I think as an employer, the taxes are very high, incentives to come here and grow and expand are very limited and very challenging.”
Unfortunately, our political leadership seems to be whistling past the graveyard:
One of the panelists pointed to a disconnect between what Vermont political leaders say and the reality that employers face creating jobs in the private sector. “When I keep hearing politicians talk about jobs, I keep wondering why they’re talking about jobs, and why aren’t they talking about helping enterprises be thriving, successful,” Castle said.