Kansas No. 10 pro-business state

April 3, 2008


Top 10

Just as it did in the final basketball polls following the regular season, North Carolina - the state this time, not the university - ranks highest in Pollina Corporate Real Estate Inc.'s survey of pro-business states:

1. North Carolina

2. Florida

3. Virginia

4. South Carolina

5. Wyoming

6. South Dakota

7. Georgia

8. Alabama

9. Utah

10. Kansas

Kansas is ranked in another top 10, and this time it has nothing to do with basketball.

The Sunflower state is included in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2008, a listing that analyzes factors that affect the ability of states to attract new businesses or encourage existing businesses to expand within the state.

And while the statistics used to compile the rankings have nothing to do with basketball, the standings could be considered every bit as competitive.

Using 29 categories - including taxes, quality of life, human resources, labor, education, infrastructure and incentive programs - the study's authors indicate the best places to expand a business.

In Kansas' case, the state fared well by having a relatively high-quality work force, plus relatively low costs for utility services, unemployment insurance and workers compensation rates, said Brent Pollina, the study's lead author.

Kansas also has effective professionals working on economic-development activities at the state level, he said, reflecting a commitment from the governor's office.

But the state falls behind most other states when it comes to taxes, Pollina said. Kansas ranks No. 38 among states in terms of favorable corporate income tax rates and No. 25 for individual income tax rates.

"Kansas actually is one of the rare states out there that seems to being doing right by the business community in their state," said Pollina, vice president for the Chicago-based firm, which provides project-management services for Fortune 500 companies and others looking to expand into new areas of North America. "They have been constantly going over what the state government does and trying to make improvements on it, whereas most of the other states out there figure good enough is good enough."

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said that Kansas had made "smart investments" in schools, workers and in making strategic tax cuts - but that other changes would be necessary for the state to build on its momentum.

"The cost of health insurance is an increasing burden for businesses, so the next step must be to tackle comprehensive health care reform if we want to remain among the top pro-business states," Sebelius said.

Pollina started the listings five years ago, part of an effort to provide unbiased information to discussions about where the best places would be to consider locating an expanding business.

The rankings are relative, in that a state's placement is based upon where it relates to each of the other 49 states in all categories.

Kansas' previous rankings:

¢ 2007: 16

¢ 2006: 10

¢ 2005: 14

¢ 2004: 23

For more information about the study, visit


OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years ago

I find this ranking hard to take seriously. If we are #10, then how impoverished is #30? Number 10 in creating an environment attractive to business... but no where near 10 in actually bringing business to the state.Maybe we are attractive to business because of our low wages.

lounger 10 years ago

Maybe this is why we rate 50th year after year in water quality! Getting business' into our state is important is making sure they dont foul the waterways! I noticed North Carolina is number one. Well North Carolina has some horrible conditions when it comes to the holding pools for the many corporate hog farms. Lets just be smart on this issue and make sure our children have a decent Kansas to inherit!!!

toefungus 10 years ago

Most worthless ranking of all time. If we are so great, where are the jobs and declining importance on homeowners property taxes to fund government. But, wait, could it be we do not tax business enough? Bull. Kansas taxes the heck out of everything.

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY by Pollina Corporate Real Estate..... guess where their sources of information might be? Real Estate sales people perhaps. If this were true ..... what lies have the real estate industry been telling the Pollina Corporate Real Estate pollsters. Obviously little research went into this "study". Kansas legislators are in the market for dirty unhealthy energy and resist funding public education. Reasonably priced real estate,excellent public schools,healthy living environment, low sales and property taxes are points of interest when relocating an industry. Of course providing a tax free environment which screws the existing taxpayers is also at the top of the list for corporate america.These "best of places" lists are generated by the real estate industry and are not necessarily based on fact.

oldvet 10 years ago

Wow! And now Lawrence can set claim to being an island of anti-business in a pro-business state...

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

Considering 21 out of the past 25 years our city, county and planning commissions have been dominated by the Chamber/real estate/ development industry. Yet after 25 years 12,000-15,000 commuters STILL must drive elsewhere for the best paying jobs to afford living in the high tax Lawrence bedroom community. The community which spends its' tax dollars developing bedrooms and ignores the core infrastructure and central business district. Authorized by a Chamber led city,county and planning commissions which believes that Wal-Mart and corrupt business practices are saviors.

ralphralph 10 years ago

Did Chatty Kathy forget to tell them that we're not going to be able to keep the electicity on ... at least if she has her way?

Richard Heckler 10 years ago

Don't anyone get their hopes up. Douglas County has a high cost of living...... thanks to the Chamber led "anti economic growth machine".

BigPrune 10 years ago

I thought the anti-economic growth machine was led by merrill and his minions OR is merrill one of the minions? They must not have used Lawrence in the equation. We'd probably be towards the bottom if they did that.

KansasMeadowlark 10 years ago

We add more government sector jobs in Kansas than private sector jobs and who will pay the taxes to support these government jobs? Sebelius tries to kill a power plant using regulatory red-tape and this attracts other business to Kansas? Taxes have never been higher in Kansas and this attracts business to Kansas? Taxes in Kansas at an All Time High: "Taxes in Kansas are at an all time high. This year state and local taxes will capture 11.2 percent of the state's income. At no other time in the state's history have state and local governments imposed such a heavy tax burden on citizens. Three decades ago Kansas ranked among the low tax states. In recent years Kansas has ranked among the most heavily taxed states in the country.""What is disturbing is how rapidly Kansas' competitive position in tax policy has deteriorated. From 2000 to 2004 Kansas' ranking in relative tax burdens increased from 22nd to 10th. There is no other state in the nation in which the tax burden increased as rapidly as Kansas' over this period."When Kansas was ranked #10 in 2006, the Kansas Taxpayer's Network commented on the Pollina study then:www. kansastaxpayers.comApril 7, 2006 For Immediate Release Is Kansas Competitive? "The Pollina consulting report ranked Kansas on a number of criteria and in only one was Kansas in the top ten. The business tax ranking in this report scored Kansas at 45th (with one being best and 50th worst). Job losses between 2002-04 in this report has Kansas scoring 47th which ironically probably explains one of Kansas' best scores of 13th on their workforce. This means that Kansas has lots of qualified workers trying to find jobs. Sadly, many of these folks will move to states with more competitive tax climates where the job growth is located. Kansas also scored badly on our unitary taxation of business but that was offset by Kansas not taxing inventories."Why do we deceive ourselves that the economic climate in Kansas is OK? Why are taxes lower in all surrounding states?

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