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2014 Best & Worst States

Alaska is the 32nd Best State for Business 2014

Alaska is considered a “best state” for startups. Since Alaska has no individual income or state-level sales taxes, more entrepreneurs are burning the long, midnight oil in the land of the midnight sun. That qualified it for the No. 4 spot in the Tax Foundation’s latest State Business Tax Climate Index. Last year, the state cut taxes for small businesses earning $222,000 or less, and oil-tax simplification will give Alaska a great economic advantage. The state tied for No. 4 in the three-year Kaufmann Index.

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Alabama Is the 17th Best State for Business 2014

Alabama’s GDP growth was up 1.2% in 2012 vs. 2011, while its unemployment and tax rates were both less than the national average. The Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama is predicting a 2.4% output growth rate for 2014, which would, in turn, generate 25,000 jobs.

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Pennsylvania is 42nd Best State for Business 2014

“Gov. Corbett came into office in 2011 inheriting a $4.2 billion budget deficit and a business climate much maligned for nearly a decade," Kelli Roberts, Deputy Director of Communications to Gov. Tom Corbett, told Chief Executive magazine in February. In two and a half years, the governor eliminated significant budget deficits without raising taxes on families and implemented significant business tax and climate reforms ... [putting] Pennsylvania’s economy back on the path to prosperity.”

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Washington is the 33rd Best State for Business 2014

In Washington state, small businesses are adding jobs faster than in any other state in the country, according to CCNMoney.com. The jobless rate was just 6.7% in March, with 6,700 new jobs created, according to GeekWire. In Seattle, the jobless rate was even lower, at 5.2%. The city plans to raise its minimum wage to $15/hour.

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Oklahoma is the 20th Best State for Business 2014

Despite falling six spots from last year, one respondent reported that Oklahoma was “business friendly,” possibly due to the fact that Oklahoma did trim some taxes last year. However, the state also dropped from 14th to 21st for economic rank in the American Legislative Exchange Council economic competitiveness assessment.

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Kansas is the 26th Best State for Business 2014

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46,000 new jobs were added to the Kansas economy over the last three years. Compared to neighboring states, Kansas ranks fourth out of five for job growth. However, when looking at the 58,000 jobs Kansas lost in 2009, according to the Kansas City Star, it appears that Kansas is on its way back up.

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