The Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council has ranked Wisconsin #30 in its 14th annual ranking of states using its Small Business Survivability Index (SBSI) that ranks every state in the union on a wide range of characteristics that should be positives for entrepreneurs.
I went through the report and pulled out the state’s ranking on several criteria. Here are some positive indicators of where WI stands in the rankings:
- Government 5 year Spending Trend – 5 (this was based on an index of % increases vs. US state trends)
- # Government Employees/100 residents –7 (tie) 5.03
- Sales & Excise Taxes as % of Income – 10 (tie) 2.66
- Top Individual Cap Gains Tax – 12 (3.1%)
- Crime rate – 18
- # of health Insurance Mandates – 16 (tie) 1.7
- State Highway Cost Effectiveness –21
- Per Capita Government Spending –26 (tie)
Where we aren’t doing as well as our #30 ranking according to the report:
- Property Taxes as % of Income –42 (4.14%)
- Top Personal Income Tax –40 (7.75%)
- State Gas Tax – 41 (how about the cost of tolls in lower ranked states?) .329
- State Diesel Tax –42 (.329)
- Workers Comp/$100 wages – 37
- Unemployment Tax (% of pay) – 33 (tie) 2.47
- Top Corp Cap Gain Tax – 33 (tie) 7.9%
- State Corp Income Tax – 32 (tie) 7.9%
- Electric Utility Costs – 31 (tie) (how about water costs?)
There were a couple of data points that I think should have been in this study – % of population with a college degree, higher education investment/capita, # of students in college, # of angel financing groups, $ of venture capital funding, # new business start-ups. These would have been indicators of potential entrepreneurship and existing entrepreneurship.
I’d suggest that the WMC take a look at this report and stop whining and start representing and encouraging entrepreneurship in our state. This is also a report that the political candidates for Governor, the Wisconsin Technology Council, Forward Wisconsin and Economic Development Professionals around the state need to analyze closely.