Site Selection

JAN 2015

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78 J A N U A R Y 2 015 S I T E S E L E C T I O N • Under Executive Order 47, the governor created the Alabama Small Business Commission, which will promote policies to assist new business start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses. • As part of the state's "Taypayer's Bill of Rights," the legislature approved creation of an independent tax tribunal making it easier for businesses to appeal tax assessments. Another law changed the rules for creating limited liability companies in the state. • Alabama's frst Workforce Development Council, made up of 28 industry leaders from across the state, convened in July 2014 and makes its frst report to the governor in January. S T A T E O F T H E S T A T E S This year's edition of State of the States, in addition to containing updated legislative, demographic and education data, includes the second installment of six Rankings That Matter: estimated 2013 GDP (BEA); the Tax Foundation's 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2014); the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council's Small Business Policy Index 2014 (Dec. 2014); total ACT National Career Readiness Certifcates earned, as of Oct. 2014; Incentives Transparency Index 2014 rankings from Amsterdam-based Investment Consulting Associates (ICA); and four-year high school graduation rates. Our new ranking from ICA comes from a proprietary database the frm maintains, and encompasses incentives deals between Jan. 2010 and Nov. 2014. Michigan is No. 1. For this time window, a total number of 8,750 incentives were awarded by all 50 US states, generating 1,126,479 new jobs and attracting $307.5 billion in capital investment. "We're fnding clawback provisions with a lot of teeth to them," says Martin RomittI, senior vice president at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC). That said, "It's also hard to structure a clawback that covers every eventuality," says Ellen Harpel, founder of Smart Incentives and president of Business Development Advisors. "We are seeing stronger rules, but the more effective ones are up front, rather than after the fact." That same approach applies to taxes. "Lawmakers create these deals under the banner of job creation and economic development," says the Tax Foundation, "but the truth is that if a state needs to offer such packages, it is most likely covering for a woeful business tax climate." — Adam Bruns Data sources include: EASI Demographics; Tax Foundation; ACT Investment Consulting Associates; BLS; BEA; NBER; Census Bureau; Conway Data; state chambers of commerce, economic development agencies and associations; press reports; governors' press rooms; law frms; and legislative documents. Workforce Education by Percentage 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Alabama Rankings that Matter Gov. Robert Bentley (R) madeinalabama.com Pop. (2014): 4,852,988 Pop. growth 2014—2019: 2.21% Median household income: $49,771 Median age: 37.9 Right-to-work state: Yes Legislative Update 16% 31% 30% 15% 8% Alabama Dept. of Commerce 401 Adams Ave., 6th foor Montgomery, AL 36130 Greg Canfeld, Secretary of Commerce 334-242-0400 "We presently have and will continue to have a very pro- business environment. We also have a cooperative spirit for economic recruitment in this state that you can see here today where state and local entities work closely together." —Gov. Robert Bentley on February 18, 2014, at the Remington jobs announcement GDP...................................................29 ($180,727*) Business Tax Climate...........................................28 Small Business Policy............................................7 ACT Career Readiness Certifcates..............42 (493) High School Graduation.............................43 (75%) Incentives Transparency Index.............................22 *Real GDP in US millions Less than High School High School Diploma Some College Bachelor's Degree Graduate Degree It Pays To Be Out in Front

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