TX Gov. Rick Perry is running ads in a number of high tax states telling businesses located there that when they’re finally fed up with the taxes and regulations strangling their companies they should up and move to Texas. The latest state to be targeted is neighboring Maryland.
“When you grow tired of Maryland taxes squeezing every dime out of your business, think Texas,” he touts. “Unfortunately, your governor has made Maryland the tax and fee state, where businesses pay some of the highest taxes in America. That’s a job killer.”
One Maryland business owner interviewed for the story said, “Texas is out of the question, but we are looking at Florida.”
Texas. Florida. Both states without a state income tax. Both states experiencing economic growth due to their business-friendly climates
With Virginia’s neighbor North Carolina on the verge of eliminating its state income tax, an even closer option would exist for such business owners.
It should be troubling that a Maryland business owner that is looking to relocate his business would consider Florida over Virginia which is right next door. That tells us something important — our business climate is not competitive enough to attract such companies with even a short move across the Potomac. If Terry McAuliffe were to win the governorship in November, it will only get worse and we may as well just change our name to South Maryland.
This is the chance for Ken Cuccinelli to go big with an even bolder economic plan than the already solid one that he unveiled earlier this year. It should consist of three elements:
1. Eliminate the state personal and corporate income tax (the loss of revenue from this would be made up by changing existing user fees and other taxes to generate the same amount, mirroring what other states without income taxes have accomplished.)
2. Modernize the state corporation code so Virginia is more attractive than current corporate registration havens such as Delaware and Nevada.
3. Thoroughly review Virginia’s tort laws to make sure that businesses are not subject to frivolous new theories of claim while still ensuring that bad actors are still held accountable.
So far this campaign has been fought over sketchy business deals, social issues, Thanksgiving dinners, and wrongly-convicted individuals. It is time to kick this race into high gear with a three-point plan to catapult Virginia to the top of the economic heap in the U.S. That is what will get both the business community and the Tea Party excited and motivated to put Cuccinelli in the governor’s mansion.