Texas Again #1 for Business in Annual CNBC Study

Texas is the top state in the nation for business, according to CNBC's annual study, but not for many of the reasons politicians brag about, News Radio 1200 WOAI  reports.

CNBC Business Correspondent Scott Cohn tells News Radio 1200 WOAI Texas received scores in the top ten in five of the ten categories it surveyed, inclulding infrastructure.

"This state as you know is a huge exporter and importer, it has a wide variety of travel options, airports and things like that," Cohn said.  "It also is very good at maintaining its infrastructure.  Texas has the best maintained bridges in the country, for example."

CNBC says Texas also ranked high in access to capital, quality of the avaialble work force, and in having a very diverse economy, which Cohn says is critical.

He says Texas is not succeeding due to the reasons that people, and politicians, usually think.

First of all, while oil and gas does in fact contribute to the state's economic strength, he points out that Alaska, which is also a major oil producing state, finished dead last in the 2018 study, largely because it lacks the incredible diversity of the Texas economy.

He says Texas is by far the biggest exporting state in the country, and has thriving agriculture, tech, manufacturing, and service sectors in addition to oil and gas.  That has led to a nation-leading 5.2% increase in state GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017.

He says Texas is also not doing well because it is a low tax state, in fact, he says rising property values have pushed Texas out of the 'low tax' category.

"Yes, Texas does not have an individual or corporate income tax, it does have a business franchise tax, and it does have very high property taxes," Cohn said.

Texas also does not score well in the categories of Quality of Life and Education.

Cohn says there is one thing that could easily send Texas tumbling down off that top spot.  Although he didn't specifically mention it, lawmakers passing bills like the 'Bathroom Bill' and other measures which would discourage people from moving to the state would be an economy killer.

"If all of a sudden, people didn't want to come to Texas to work, then companies would be less motivated to set up shop," he said.

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