Good, bad news on our state economy

Good, bad news on our state economy

Lexington County Chronicle
June 6, 2019

By Jerry Bellune

South Carolina ranks 34th of 50 states in overall economic health.

Yet it is 6th highest of all states in imports.

That’s a sign that what we make and sell in other countries brings more money into our economy.

These are the findings of a study by financial website WalletHub on 2019’s best & worst economies.

“South Carolina has a lot of things going for it, but our tax code built for the 1950s economy is holding us back,” SC Chamber of Commerce CEO Ted Pitts.

“Our tax code is especially bad for small business, startups and their workers.

“Until policy makers implement a more competitive system reforming business property taxes, business license taxes and reducing the top marginal state individual income tax rate in the southeast, we will continue to be held back.”

SC Small Business Chamber CEO Frank Knapp said, “We shouldn’t be happy with being ranked 34th.

“We should look to our neighboring states for guidance. North Carolina is ranked 10th and Georgia is ranked 14th. Why are they doing so much better in growing their economies than we are?

“We have good universities and are coastal states. South Carolina has the advantage of a major port and are tied for first on most exports per capita.

“The state has put too little resources into growing small businesses. Since 2006, the Small Business Chamber has been advocating that the state initiate a grassroots entrepreneur and small business development program. The state could work with local governments to determine how they want to grow their small businesses and help them work their plans.

“Georgia and North Carolina took this additional small business economic development strategy in the early 2000s. Is it a coincidence that we are far behind those states today?”

For more on the study’s finding, visit www.wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-best-economies/21697/ .