Governor Perry Targets Maryland
On the heels of his high profile business recruitment forays into Missouri, Illinois, New York and California, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is often seen courting gun manufacturers in northeastern states that have enacted tougher gun laws, recently set his sights on Maryland’s business community. Through direct mail, newspaper ads, radio and television spots, the charismatic Governor Perry is now taking direct shots at Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration. He wags his finger at an administration he claims has made Maryland a “Tax-and-Fee” state that fosters oppressive tax and regulatory burdens that are squeezing Maryland’s businesses right out of business. With his trademark Texas swagger, Perry brashly boasts the no-corporate-income-tax, no-individual-income-tax, and business friendly regulations that Texas has to offer. His tag line, “Texas is calling – Your opportunity awaits,” says it all.
Some governors call Perry’s efforts “job-poaching.” Perry calls it fair competition. For his part, Governor O’Malley simply brushes off Perry’s ads, saying, “I know he does that tired old PR gimmick all around the country.” But as far as Perry is concerned, it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true, and many well respected research and data mining entities clearly show that it is. In the chiefexecutive.net 2013 ranking of Best and Worst States for Business, Texas holds onto the number one spot for yet another year. Maryland, on the other hand, slipped from number forty in 2012, to forty-first in 2013. In its latest survey, Best Cities for Good Jobs, Forbes.com cites four Texas metropolitan areas as dominating the category. Of the four, the Dallas metro area ranks as number one. According to this same survey, since 2001, employment in Houston has expanded 20 percent. Ft. Worth is up 16 percent, Dallas is up 11 percent, San Antonio is up 18.4 percent. and Austin is up a whopping 26.5 percent.
In data captured in Travis H. Brown’s book, “How Money Walks,” from 1992 through 2010, the Old Line State shed $7.04 billion in annual Adjusted Gross Income, or taxable wealth, and watched that money walk southward.
In May of this year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Center for State Fiscal Reform released its sixth annual Rich State, Poor State Study, which showed Maryland’s economic outlook in 2012 was 20th best in the nation. But with new tax hikes, including an 80 percent gas tax increase, Maryland has declined to number thirty-five. Compounding the problem is that as the outward migration continues, the number of taxpayers and jobs that fuel the economy are reduced. As a result, even higher taxes must be levied on those who remain in order for the state to meet its budgetary commitments.
World renowned for many years as an oil titan, the Lone Star State no longer depends exclusively on energy related industries. It has since expanded and diversified its core industries to include high tech, medical, manufacturing and business services. Coincidently, many of these same industries call Maryland home. But, this diversification makes for a much more stable and secure economy, and one that can attract businesses from numerous sectors.
So, in a state well known for big skies, a big star, big egos and catchy slogans, it is clear that when it comes to the competition for Maryland business, “Everything is better in Texas.”