11/8/07

Right To Work law helps Nevada to #2 ranking

Nevada stands second-best in the nation for small business and entrepreneurship in a recent report on key factors that affect commerce. The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council's "Small Business Survival Index 2007" cites Nevada for its lack of personal and corporate income taxes and other costs as well as for being a right-to-work state.

Near the bottom, at No. 49, is California, whose tax, regulatory and other mandates on businesses have prompted many to flee to Nevada in recent years.

One of those was Michael Fite, president of Pacific Coast Flange Inc., who moved his company from Ukiah, Calif., to Mound House in 2004 to escape soaring job-injury insurance costs. On Tuesday, Fite said he does not regret the move; in fact, he's investing $1.7 million, including a new 10,000-square-foot building, to his business.

He applauds Nevada for its lack of corporate taxes and other challenges businesses face in California. "Those are great incentives in themselves," Fite said. "Workers' comp was the driving force for us to move. California has had some relief in that, but it's still not enough. Everything they've done is too little, too late."

Such contrasts are key to recruiting agencies' ongoing drive to lure commerce to Nevada, and California is a key target, said Chuck Alvey, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.

Of the SBE Council's report, Alvey said, "That's exactly the thing that helps us. It's right on target. I'm thrilled to hear it."

The report attempts to show how state and local policymakers' decisions affect small business. And in Nevada, "Entrepreneurs and small businesses benefit enormously from there being no (taxes)," said Raymond Keating, chief economist at the Washington, D.C.-based SBE Council and author of the study.

The report cites several negatives, notably Nevada's high consumption-based gasoline and unemployment taxes, comparatively high crime rates and a sizable number of health-care mandates on businesses.

South Dakota took top honors in the ranking, followed by Nevada, Wyoming, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.

Among other states surrounding Nevada, Arizona ranked 15th; Utah, 18th; Oregon, 34th; and Idaho, 36th.

The report can be found at www.sbecouncil.org

(news.rgj.com)

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