Gov. Perry Speaks at TAB Annual Conference Luncheon
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today spoke at the Texas Association of Business (TAB) Annual Conference Luncheon to honor the 2010 Best Companies to Work For in Texas and accept TAB’s endorsement for his re-election.
“I am honored to receive the Texas Association of Business’ vote of confidence in my candidacy and humbled by the endorsement of organizations from across the state, which represent hundreds of thousands of Texans from every walk of life,” said Gov. Perry. “I take it as affirmation from those who know what it takes to succeed, who have boldly tackled life’s challenges and embraced our state’s deep-seated embrace of liberty.”
Gov. Perry discussed the importance of upholding Texas’ business-friendly climate by keeping taxes low and regulations predictable, and maintaining a fair legal system and accountable public schools. He also noted Texas’ strong economic position compared to other states, while recognizing the importance to continue working to create the jobs Texas needs, until every Texan who wants a job has a job.
“Hardworking people all over our state know that governments never really create jobs, businesses do, when they’re free of excessive government influence,” said Gov. Perry. “Government is at its best when it’s cultivating an environment that makes it easier for employers to thrive and then gets out of the way. The business-friendly climate we have created, combined with the efforts of hardworking Texans, have moved Texas to the forefront of the nation’s economy and have us poised to remain there well into the future.”
This week, the U.S. Department of Labor released numbers confirming that Texas has outdone all other large states in job growth in the last decade, adding almost 750,000 private-sector jobs from 1999 to 2009, while the other ten largest states lost jobs, part of a net national loss of more than 1.5 million private sector jobs. Texas economist Ray Perryman also recently noted that Texas is the “last in and first out” when it comes to the current economic downturn, pointing to the job growth that Texas has experienced in three of the past six months and the fact that the unemployment rate has remained two points below the national average.
“The business community has a true champion in Gov. Rick Perry,” said TAB President and BACPAC spokesman Bill Hammond. “Texas is fortunate to have the most pro-business governor in the nation. Gov. Perry has helped lead our state to being home to the most robust business climate in America. Gov. Perry's unparalleled record of accomplishment on business issues made the decision an easy one.”
Yesterday, Governor Perry highlighted the importance of strengthening our state’s education, maintaining a focus on job creation efforts, and upholding principles of fiscal responsibility as the keys to continuing Texas’ success. He spoke at Receptor Logic, a company working to develop therapies for cancer and infectious disease.
View all the pictures from the press conference by visiting Rick Perry's Flickr page.
Another great way to see updates from the trail is by joining the nearly 3,000 people who follow @GovPerry2010 on Twitter.
No major state has weathered the recession more successfully than Texas. So it’s logical that the best place to launch a new business would be a prominent Texas metropolitan area.
The nation’s top score for small-business vitality, according to a new Portfolio.com/bizjournals study, belongs to Austin, the state's capital and the center of a thriving metro with 1.7 million residents. A six-part formula was used to analyze the nation’s 100 largest metros, looking for the places that are most conducive to the creation and development of small businesses.
"Tonight’s debate gave Texans the chance to hear competing visions for our state’s future while reflecting on the remarkable success story our state has written over the last several years.
"As our nation’s economy continues to struggle, our best prospects lie with maintaining our job-friendly climate, continuing to strengthen our education system, keeping our border secure and pushing back against the flood of misguided policies pouring out of Washington.
"I hope that our success has earned the confidence of Texas voters and that they will continue supporting me in leading our state with hard work, innovation and careful fiscal stewardship."
Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Texas ranks No. 3 as one of the top friendliest states for small businesses and entrepreneurship in the country.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council cited the state’s low business tax rates, workers compensation benefits, and state and local government spending issues as positive factors key to Texas’ third place ranking in the council’s 2009 Small Business Survival Index study.
Factors keeping the state from one of the top two spots, however, were gas and diesel taxes, Texas’ crime rate, utility costs, property taxes, and state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, the council said in the study, released in late 2009.
“The Small Business Survival Index gets at the public policy costs and trends that affect – directly or indirectly – entrepreneurship and small businesses,” study author and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council Chief Economist Raymond J. Keating said in a statement. “These measures should matter to everyone because small businesses, of course, drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. If we want to get our economy back on a solid, robust growth track, then we need pro-entrepreneur policies at the federal, state and local levels.”
David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, said Texas’ high ranking isn’t surprising considering the opportunities available to entrepreneurs across the state and in North Texas.
“Employees from some of these larger firms, Texas Instruments, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, they get the spirit and start a business of their own after they get their training from some of these bigger companies. They come up with an idea, and pursue the American dream,” he said.
Berzina added that Texas’ universities and community colleges work together to provide opportunities for business education and development.
Brad Hancock, director of Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center, said the center has seen an increasing number of students joining the center and showing interest in opening their own small businesses.
The growing interest could be a rebound effect from the troubles corporate America has experienced over the last several years, Hancock said, adding that while students show interest in a number of different industries, technology is becoming one of the more popular choices.
“We are seeing more students, I think because they’re more technology proficient, looking at technology-based business,” he said. “I think more students are asking ‘How can we use the iPhone? How can we use the Internet and this technology that’s emerging?’”
Alvaro Guillem, president and CEO of ZS Pharma Inc. in Fort Worth, said he could have picked any state in the U.S. to open his pharmaceutical development company, but chose Texas because of the state’s tax rates and business infrastructure.
“Over the last few years what I’ve been doing is developing pharmaceuticals and bringing products to the market,” he said. “We could have headquartered anywhere, but over the last several years, Texas as a state has developed quite an infrastructure when it comes to supporting product development, and supporting everything being contained in Texas. That makes it much more easily managed when you deal with a project where you don’t have to go all over the place to look for resources to support what you’re doing.”
Guillem added that Texas also has been a business-friendly state because of its tax rates.
“Nobody likes to get taxed, but if you have to get taxed at least be reasonable, and Texas seems to do that,” he said. “The business climate has been very conducive for settling in and doing business.”
In ranking the 50 states and District of Columbia, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council considered some of the major government-imposed or government-related costs – 36 total – affecting investment, entrepreneurship and business, according to the study.
One of Texas’ highest rankings is a result of the state’s lack of a state personal income tax, which can affect individual economic decision making in important ways, the study said. And while Texas also benefited from not having a corporate income tax, it did receive a low ranking – coming in at 39 out of 51 – for higher state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, in the study. Texas also ranked at 39 for property tax rates, at 45 for the number of health insurance mandates, and at 42 for the state’s crime rate.
“When companies look at Texas, they’re discovering that we’ve fostered an environment that encourages people to pursue their dreams, build businesses and create jobs,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. “This index is further proof that our conservative fiscal principles, low taxes, predictable regulatory environment and educated workforce have made Texas the best state in the nation to build a business and create jobs.”
What's the worst state to do business in? According to readers of Chief Executive magazine, it's California. In the same poll, Texas won first place as the best state in which to put your headquarters.
As reported in The Economist, the two largest states in the nation have very different philosophies and very different success rates.
In the 1950s and '60s, California was the embodiment of the American Dream, offering great schools, roads, jobs, and communities with all the latest amenities, not to mention good weather, beaches, and quick access to the mountains and wilderness for recreation. As home to Disneyland and the movie industry, the state represented all that was glamorous and new.
Cut to the present day. California is $26 billion in the hole and has recently been paying its bills with IOUs. Its once-proud schools are suffering and the prison system is releasing criminals early because the state can't afford to keep them. Social services are being cut right and left. Infrastructure is aging and falling apart. Unemployment is nearing 12 percent. State employees are forced to take unpaid furlough days and many California cities are worse off than Detroit. Its state income tax is the second highest in the U.S., and government regulations seem perversely aligned to discourage people from doing business there.
In fact, people are fleeing the so-called Golden State at a rate of more than 100,000 a year. From the Great Depression on, California was a dream destination for Americans. Now it looks more like a nightmare, taking on new debt at a rate of $25 million a day.
Texas, on the other hand, was considered something of a backwater in the 1950s and '60s, and certainly not a glamorous destination for the upwardly mobile masses. How things change. Unemployment in that state is two percentage points below the national average. It has one of the lowest rates of repossession for housing. There is no state income tax, nor is there a tax on capital gains in Texas.
Also, the Lone Star State has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other place in the union: California has 51, New York has 56, and Texas has 64. AT&T, Dell, Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, J.C. Penny, and Halliburton are all located in Texas.
Texas also has a geographic advantage over California. California has mountains that limit growth. Texas is largely flat. California is big. Texas is bigger. If you drive from Houston to El Paso, you're halfway to Los Angeles – without leaving Texas.
Texas created 70 percent of all the new jobs in the United States in 2008, and it has a budget surplus. No wonder it's the fastest-growing state in America, with 150,000 new residents arriving each year. Houston promises to become the nation's third-largest city in the near future, edging out Chicago for that spot. And 3 of the 10 largest cities in the United States are already in Texas – Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Both the Brookings Institution and Forbes Magazine studied America’s cities and rated them for how well they create new jobs. All of America’s top five job-creating cities were in Texas. It's more than purely economics and regulation can explain, though. Texas – and Houston in particular – has a broad mix of Hispanics, whites, Asians, and blacks with virtually no racial problems. Texas welcomes new people and exemplifies genuine tolerance. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Houston took in 100,000 people. Not surprisingly, Houston has more foreign consulates than any American city other than New York and Los Angeles.
And while Texas is creating jobs and new business, the Financial Times recently observed that the failure of a state as large and important as California is serving as a drag on the entire U.S. economy. Much of what we perceive as a national housing crisis, for example, is really concentrated in a few of the hardest-hit regions – California and Florida chief among them. Meanwhile, areas such as Texas have experienced a much milder downturn. In short, the catastrophes in Florida, Nevada, and especially California make the national market look really bad.
A few governors, such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Perry of Texas, had the foresight to turn down their share of the $7 billion for unemployment insurance, realizing that once the federal funds run out, benefits would be unpayable. "One of the smartest decisions we made," says Mr. Daniels. Many governors now probably wish they had done the same.
Now, in an election year, Congress wants to pass another $100 billion aid package for ailing states to sustain the mess the first stimulus helped to create. Governors would be smarter to unite and tell Congress to keep the money and mandates, and let the states adjust to the new reality of lower revenues. Meanwhile, Mr. Perry and other governors who warned that the stimulus would have precisely this effect can consider themselves vindicated.
Governor Rick Perry today highlighted several new laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2010, which institute important reforms to the appraisal process to help property taxpayers.
“In addition to cutting taxes for 40,000 small business and leaving billions of dollars in our Rainy Day Fund this last session, we also implemented measures that will provide greater protection for property owners by adding transparency and fairness to the appraisal process,” Gov. Perry said.
HB 8 and 3612 by Rep. John Otto and SB 771 by Sen. Tommy Williams are among several bills that will improve the appraisal process, and include provisions that impose limits on what is considered a comparable sale for appraisal purposes; create an expedited arbitration process; and require substantial evidence to increase an appraisal after a successful appeal.
These changes will improve the fairness and accuracy of the appraisal process and increase the oversight of appraisal districts to ensure they are following uniform appraisal practices and procedures.
HB 1038 by Rep. Ken Paxton ensures appraisers continue to consider all comparable properties when appraising a home, including those recently sold at foreclosure or that have decreased in value.
Additional measures to strengthen the appraisal process include the passage of Propositions 2 and 3 by Texas voters in November.
Proposition 2 will ensure that residential property is appraised only based on its use as a homestead (instead of being appraised based on a hypothetical alternate use).
Proposition 3 will allow the Legislature to adopt uniform statewide appraisal standards in the future. Both of these measures will increase transparency and accountability in the appraisal process.
Several new laws are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 that should improve the appraisal process and help property taxpayers.
State lawmakers passed several pieces of legislation during the 2009 session that impose limits on what is considered a comparable sale for appraisal purposes, create an expedited arbitration process and require substantial evidence to increase an appraisal after a successful appeal.
It is hoped, according to the Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Office, that these measures will improve the fairness and accuracy of the appraisal process and ensure that appraisal districts are following uniform appraisal practices and procedures.
House Bill 1038, authored by Rep. Ken Paxton, requires appraisers to consider all comparable properties when appraising a home, including those recently sold at foreclosure or that have decreased in value.
Additional measures to strengthen the appraisal process include the passage of Propositions 2 and 3 by Texas voters in November.
The goal of Proposition 2 is to ensure that residential property is appraised only based on its use as a homestead — instead of being appraised based on a hypothetical alternate use.
Proposition 3 will allow the Legislature to adopt uniform statewide appraisal standards in the future.
The intent of both of these measures is to increase transparency and accountability in the appraisal process.
For a list of all Texas laws that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2010, please visit the Legislature’s Web site at www.legis.state.tx.us.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Americans, it seems, still have a love affair with the West. Texas and Wyoming were the big winners in the Census Bureau's annual population estimates, which were released on Wednesday.
In the year ended July 1, Texas added more people than any other state, and Wyoming had the highest growth rate in the nation.
The population of the United States has grown more than 9% to 307,006,550 since the 2000 census. The population grew 0.86% since last year's estimates.
Just three states shrank during the year. Michigan's population fell by 0.33%, Maine dropped 0.11%, and Rhode Island lost 0.03%.
The report is a kind of sneak preview of the next big 10-year census, which will be released in December 2010.
The 10-year census determines congressional representation and federal aid, among other things.
"The census counts will not only determine how many U.S. House seats each state will have but will also be used as the benchmark for future population estimates," said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves.
In Nevada, for example, the population has risen 32.27% since the 2000 Census, more than any other state in the past decade. Nevada currently has three seats in the House and will almost certainly pick up another as a result of its population growth.
See where your state ranks
On the other hand, large states that have grown slowly over the past nine years such as Ohio (1.67%), Pennsylvania (2.64%), New York (2.98%) and Michigan (3.13%) could lose at least one seat each.
The future of the so-called Sand States - California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida - is still in question, though. The rapid rise of many of these states through the early part of the decade has been curtailed by the housing crisis.
In Florida, which averaged about 2% a year in population growth from 2001 through 2005, residential numbers inched up only 0.62% during the 12 months ended July 1. In the previous 12 months, the state recorded only a 0.71% gain.
A similar dynamic played out in Nevada. Its average population increase was 3.6% per year in the five years through 2005, but the state grew only 1% this time. And the growth was due to the birth rate, not people actually moving in.
Both Nevada and Florida actually had more people leave the states than arrive.
Many communities in these bubble states now have long lists of homes for sale. New construction has slowed, idling workers and hurting local economies.
Some of the once-booming cities in the Central Valley of California, such as Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, Merced, El Centro and Visalia, are now plagued by job losses. Seven out of the 10 metro areas with the highest unemployment rates are in California.
Other Sun Belt states have fared much better. Texas, for example, never went through the boom-and-bust housing cycle that devastated the Sand States. Home prices remained affordable, and the state's unemployment rate was 8% in October, a full two percentage points below the national average.
So, it's no surprise that Texas added more than 3.9 million residents during the 2000s. Its population also grew by the greatest number of people (478,000) during the 12 months ended July 1. California was second with 381,000 followed by North Carolina with 134,000.
Wyoming boasted the fastest growth rate for the 12-month period: 2.12% to a total of 544,270. The Cowboy State was followed by Utah (2.1%), Texas (1.97%) and Colorado (1.81%).