Small Business Urges Lawmakers to Reverse Vermont’s Negative Business Ranking

Press Release

Tax Foundation ranks Vermont 4th from the bottom for its business climate.

Montpelier (January 25, 2012) – A new report by the non-profit Tax Foundation ranks Vermont fourth worst in the country for its business climate, an embarrassing distinction and one that Governor Shumlin and lawmakers should be working hard to erase, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

“This is not the way that we want to be distinguished,” said Shawn Shouldice who serves as NFIB’s State Director. “What’s more disappointing is that we are the only New England state except Rhode Island to be ranked in the bottom ten.”

The report cites Vermont’s sky-high corporate, individual income and property taxes as big impediments to business.

“In three of the five categories analyzed by the report, Vermont ranks in the bottom ten,” said Shouldice. “Business owners are paying attention to that report. The question is whether anyone in Montpelier is paying attention.”

She said that with Vermont already at the bottom, the Administration’s financing scheme for the new health care system and the price of future electricity becomes even more critically important.

“Small business owners are very worried that the new health care system will be financed by dramatically higher payroll taxes,” said Shouldice. “That would be a direct tax on jobs and a severe blow to the state’s biggest economic sector. The legislature and Administration are aggressively pushing a subsidized energy plan that if enacted will significantly increase ratepayers electricity cost.

“We can’t afford any more damage to our reputation among business owners,” she continued. “The Governor and legislators should take this report very seriously and consider its implications in every legislative initiative they consider.”

For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com/vermont.