Last Modified: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 5:10 PM
Of all the many accomplishments of Gov. Bobby Jindal in his six years in office, none exceed the work that’s been done to improve the state’s business climate.
That point was driven home last week when Site Selection magazine ranked the state No. 6 in the nation in its Top State Business Climate, Louisiana’s highest ranking.
Four years ago, Louisiana ranked 25th in the magazine’s annual poll.
The rankings are determined 50 percent by an index of tax burden criteria according to the Tax Foundation and KPMG’s Location Matters analysis and the states’ performance in Conway Data’s New Plant Database, which tracks new and expanded business facility activity, and 50 percent by a survey of corporate site selectors who are asked about the lack of red tape, financial assistance and cooperation by government officials.
“For decades, Louisiana was losing jobs and our people because we did not have a good business environment. Companies were fleeing our state because of high taxes, and other companies didn’t give us a second look because our state was too corrupt,” said Jindal.
“We set out to reverse that trend more than five years ago by eliminating taxes that stifled growth, reining in government spending, overhauling governmental ethics laws, revamping workforce training programs, and providing more educational opportunities for families. Thanks in part to these reforms, we have more jobs in Louisiana than at any point in our state’s history. Indeed, this latest ranking confirms that we are on the right path to create more opportunities for our people.”
Jindal’s point man for attracting new business, Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, deserves much of the limelight as well.
Other publications have also taken noticed. Earlier this year Business Facilities rated Louisiana No. 4 among the best U.S. business climates in its 2013 Rankings Report and last month, Area Development ranked Louisiana No. 6 in its Top States for Doing Business report.
According to a news release from Jindal’s office, Louisiana has secured economic development wins that have resulted in more than 83,000 new jobs and more than $54 billion in new investment since 2008.
And the best is yet to come. Noted state economist Loren Scott says Southwest Louisiana alone could see $47 billion worth of capital investments in the next few years and the Baton Rouge area may enjoy more than $23 billion in capital investments in the same time span.
That suggests the state stands a good chance of climbing higher in Site Selection’s poll.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Mike Jones, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.