We received some bad economic news on Monday when CNBC published its annual Top States for Business rankings. In the last 10 years, Virginia has tumbled from the best state to do business to an all-time low ranking of 13th in 2016.
As Governor McAuliffe and other government officials continue to praise the Commonwealth’s economic performance, independent researchers at CNBC ranked “The New Virginia Economy” as 30th worst in the country. Virginia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an anemic 1.4%, substantially trailing the national average of 2.4%.
CNBC ranks states based on their performance in ten comprehensive categories: Workforce, Cost of Doing Business, Infrastructure, Economy, Quality of Life, Technology and Innovation, Education, Business Friendliness, Cost of Living, and Access to Capital. Our state performed 36th worst in the Cost of Doing Business category and in the bottom half of states for Infrastructure, Economy, and Cost of Living.
One of my main priorities in the Virginia Senate is working to create the conditions for the private sector to grow our economy and to ensure that the Commonwealth is in a strong position to attract new businesses. The CNBC ranking reinforces the necessity to make government reforms to curb excessive spending, keep taxes and fees low, and cut the red tape for businesses operating in our state.
Last year, I introduced several tax reform measures, including lowering the personal income tax rate, waiving tax penalties for small businesses when they enroll in a repayment plan, and a tax credit for all payers when the state has a budget surplus. I will continue to introduce commonsense solutions for bolstering economic growth and measures to allow Virginians to keep more of their hard earned dollars.
The time is now for us to get serious about smart tax and regulatory reform to grow our economy and create more, good paying jobs in our Commonwealth.