Taxes Affect Decision Making? Really?

We are constantly told by some advocates that there is no “proof” that higher corporate taxes have an impact on where a business chooses to set up shop. Right.

The tidy towns and mountain vistas of Switzerland are an unlikely setting for an oil boom.
Yet a wave of energy companies has in the last few months announced plans to move to Switzerland — mainly for its appeal as a low-tax corporate domicile that looks relatively likely to stay out of reach of Barack Obama’s tax-seeking administration.

Actually, the parallels between the small country of Switzerland and little Rhody are intriguing. If only we could get our act together.

Companies say Switzerland’s attractiveness as a corporate location goes beyond tax to include easy and efficient transport, a high quality of life and well-trained staff.

Yes, it is more than just an attractive tax structure that is required. One would think that efficient transportation and a solid infrastructure would be more easily achieved in a small state like ours. Switzerland has the Alps and, as Dan Yorke often says, a lot of what makes RI so attractive is “water.” As for education, we have a lot of resources, but may be slipping. Basically, Rhode Island has a lot of untapped potential, but we all know that. It will remain untapped until and unless our political class gets their priorities in order. Or until Rhode Islanders finally hold them responsible. The track record isn’t encouraging.

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Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

>>Basically, Rhode Island has a lot of untapped potential … [but] the track record isn’t encouraging.
Truer words were never spoken.
If I were advising a business that has a choice of locales, my professional duty would compel me to advise (in the best interest of my client): “Rhode Island may not be the last place you’d want to locate, but it’s among the last.”
Nothing unusual there – for decades now that has been the standard advice given by CPA’s, lawyers and site location consultants.
Hence Rhode Island’s perennial “bottom of the barrel” rankings in surveys of business climate – the surveys reflect the perception of Rhode Island, and those perceptions are confirmed by former Rhode Islanders who’ve left and advise their companies not to locate here … and by the Rhode Island electorate that keeps electing a legislature friendly to unions and corruption and unfriendly to employers.

Ken Block
12 years ago

My state income taxes this year are 30% higher as a RI resident than they would be if I lived in MA and my business was located in MA.
I now know an even dozen businessmen (and their businesses) that have left the state for less expensive climes.

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

I’ve read that there’s a new term out there: “Going Galt.”
So you know a dozen who’ve “Gone Galt.”
The “Shrugging” will continue …

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

“Rhode Island may not be the last place you’d want to locate, but it’s among the last.”
Posted by Tom W at March 12, 2009 1:16 PM
Actually, RI may indeed “be the last place you’d want to locate”.
Don’t Haiti and Bangladesh have beaches too?
LOL

OldTimeLefty
12 years ago

As to going Gault read Honest Partisan and think about it.
OldTimeLefty

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“My state income taxes this year are 30% higher as a RI resident than they would be if I lived in MA and my business was located in MA.
I now know an even dozen businessmen (and their businesses) that have left the state for less expensive climes.”
The first item must be bad accounting. The second item is clearly just a massive coincidence.
Sincerely,
Advocates for the Status Quo

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