CNBC produces annually a ranking of the states deemed best for business and Arkansas clocked in this year at 41.
The usual suspects are touting this poor result, perhaps thinking it somehow is an endorsement of the perennial Republican suggestion that only a high income tax rate holds Arkansas back from the top tier of states. But wait …..
The CNBC ranking is based on many numerical measures in multiple categories. Check it out. For cost of business, which includes income and property and sales taxes, but also wages, utility costs, rental costs and more, we actually rank 9th in the country. Poor but friendly, that’s us.
But check some other categories, such as quality of life (this includes health, crime and inclusiveness, meaning, for example, anti-discrimination protection). No. 50. Technology and innovation. No. 47. Not so hot. Some of those things, of course, have costs to government, not much in vogue these days. The cost of living here is lower than any state but Mississippi and Kentucky, which translates to a positive for business in some ways but suggests negatives in others.
Here’s the guide to the factors in each category. Utah finished first, by the way, then Texas, Colorado and Minnesota.