•February 10, 2016•
By Jim Nowlan
NP Guest Columnist
Texas culture is that of tall-in-the-saddle individualism on steroids. And to paraphrase the late General Motors CEO Charlie Wilson, “The business of Texas is business.”
If you want to start a business, whoever you are, Texas is here to help—and otherwise stay out of your way.
Are there any lessons struggling Illinois can learn from a state that is on target to grow its population by 20 percent yet again this decade?
There are elements we can’t replicate: the weather, oil, and maybe Texas pride, among them. And state government is of course but one factor, maybe a minor one, in the vitality of a state’s economy.
California has, for example, higher taxes and equally burdensome regulations to those in our state, yet in Silicon Valley these negatives are trumped by a concentration of genius, a highly talented techie workforce, and copious amounts of venture capital.
In the past couple of weeks, I have interviewed Texans about what has caused heir state to grow so steadily over the decades. The Texas Model as I understand it can’t be transported whole cloth to the Prairie State, yet there may be some lessons of value.
In its annual surveys of state business friendliness, the marketing company Thumbtack consistently finds that Texas receives A+ for ease of starting a business, its tax code and regulatory environment, and overall friendliness. Illinois received F grades last year in all these categories.
Texas also goes very light on the taxes. In 2012, according to the Tax Foundation, a D.C. business-oriented group, Texans paid on average $2,332 per capita in taxes to their state and local governments, versus $3,238 for the U.S., and $4,015 in Illinois. Read More