9 Things You Need to Know about the ‘Biggest Gainers’

Ohioans have mixed opinions when it comes to whether they think their former governor John Kasich did a good job or a poor one running the state. “Kasich has been touting Ohio’s comeback on the campaign trail, but some residents haven’t experience it,” Politico reported in March. But CEOs have spoken, and they feel Ohio, which jumped 12 spots on Chief Executive’s 2016 Best & Worst States for Business survey, is doing a better job of creating a strong business environment than in the previous year. As a result, Ohio—based on CEOs’ responses—moved up the most number of spots than any other state.

Of the three ratings categories, Ohio got the best marks in workforce quality, with a 7.53 rating out of 10 (on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best). Workforce quality is clearly skewing the overall rating, as respondents gave the state a rating of 6.93 for its living environment, but only a 5.98 for its taxation policies.

If you were moving to or expanding your business in one of the ‘biggest gainer’ states, here are a few things you might need to know before making that decision.

1. Ohio is considering a ‘bathroom bill’. Legislators are also considering re-regulating electricity, which would reduce competition and increase rates. And, a medical marijuana bill is in motion.

2. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a religious freedom bill into law recently, and a medical marijuana bill is still being considered. … A $1-billion investment will expand the Sun Paper Company in Arkadelphia. “This will be the most technologically advanced mill that has been built in North America,” Mike Preston, Executive Director of Arkansas Economic Development, told KATV.

3. If Delaware approves the use of blockchain technology, the model behind digital payments like Bitcoin, the move, which would allow fast, secure digital payments, could make the state more competitive.

4. South Dakota has filed a lawsuit against online retailers to obtain taxes for sales in their state.

5. Alabama’s attempts to go after advanced manufacturing and high-tech growth companies is showing results, particularly with wins from Airbus and Boeing. The state is now going after  pharmaceutical and related industries and is focusing on educational reforms to close the skills gap..

6. The Tax Foundation ranks Kentucky’s tax burden 23rd highest and ranks its business tax climate 26th.

7. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is proposing a long-term plan to improve the state’s infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems, roads, bridges, public schools and universities. The $200 million, if successfully raised, would be financed through cash and bonds.

8. The crash in oil prices has Alaskan legislators considering reinstating the state income tax it abolished in 1980.

9. If Intel cuts any of its 1,900 Rio Rancho, New Mexico jobs as part of its planned 11% reduction, that would create a tremendous opportunity for other companies, particularly manufacturers, to have access to skilled workers. … Sixty-nine mayors and county commissioners from 13 states, including New Mexico, are urging federal officials to take action on dangerous methane pollution from new and existing oil and gas industry sources.

Review the entire 2016 Best & Worst States for Business results, including individual state rankings, CEO comments, methodology and more at https://chiefexecutive.net/2016-best-and-worst-states-for-business

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