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Blog: CNBC Names South Dakota as the Top State for Business


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Creating jobs is one of my top priorities as your Governor. That means that I am focused on making South Dakota a great place for businesses to grow and expand. I'm proud to say that our efforts are paying off. Earlier this month, CNBC named South Dakota as "The Top State in America for Business."

The ranking isn't our first recognition and it won't be our last. In April, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named South Dakota number one for its business climate. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council recently ranked South Dakota number one in business policies, entrepreneurial friendliness and small business survival. Our low debt, well-funded pension, and lack of expensive state-funded programs led Barron's to name South Dakota as "The Best Run State in America."

South Dakota has a long history of stability and balanced budgets -- for real. We don't balance our budget with accounting gimmicks, either. We don't push one year's expense into the next. We don't use one-time windfalls to fund ongoing expenses. We never borrow money to fund state operations. And we don't raise taxes. In turn, businesses have found that our stability and history of fiscal responsibility have created an ideal ground for business success.

In South Dakota, we have no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no business inventory tax, no personal property tax and no inheritance tax. This puts more money in the pockets of our citizens and businesses, creating a more favorable environment for growth.

Additionally, we work hard to ensure that our regulations and laws are reasonable. Eliminating unnecessary red tape has served as a cornerstone of our pro-business climate for decades.

Our costs of doing business--utility costs, unemployment insurance costs, workman's compensation costs, land costs--are low. Productivity of our workers is high because of our belief in hard work and self-reliance. In fact, many multistate employers tell us their South Dakota location is their most productive.

Now that the recession is behind us, many states are starting to balance their budgets. But many of those other states have long-term liabilities--unfunded pension obligations and large general obligation bond liabilities. In South Dakota, we have neither of those things. Our state's pension fund is 100 percent funded. Other states will eventually be forced to confront those liabilities--probably at the expense of hardworking taxpayers and businesses.

Thanks to our history of fiscal responsibility, it is likely South Dakota will continue to be the best place to do business. Businesses plan for the long term. When considering moving or expanding, they need stability and certainty. They need to know that government won't get in their way. That's what we can offer here in South Dakota and that is why were again recognized as the best place in these United States to do business.

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