The business-friendly economic climate promoted by state leaders propels Mississippi into Area Development Magazine’s top ten states to do business in. The Mississippi Legislature is credited with exempting manufacturers from paying a 1.5 percent sales tax on energy. An exerpt from Mississippi’s top 10 listing:
Among the perceived biggest strengths of the state was the overall business environment, where it ranked No. 6. In the subcategory of the overall cost of doing business, Mississippi also tied for No. 6 with Florida.
Consistent with those rankings were other strong showings by Mississippi that spoke to its overall rise in business climate: speed of permitting (No. 5), most favorable regulatory environment (No. 6), and competitive utility rates (tied for No. 5). Mississippi also placed No. 3 in competitive labor costs and No. 5 for labor climate among right-to-work states.
The Mississippi legislature also took a major step toward creating a more sound business tax base last year by exempting manufacturers form paying a 1.5 percent sales tax on energy. Otherwise there would be tax pyramiding, or the compounding of the tax burden as products make their way through the chain of production. The reform was “a small, but important, step in the right direction,” said Scott Drenkard, of the Tax Foundation.
This rising status has been reflected in more wins for Mississippi in targeted areas including automotive and aerospace. Tokyo-based Yokohama Tire plans to locate a commercial truck tire plant in West Point, Miss., creating 500 new jobs and potentially up to 2,000 jobs. And France-based Eurocopter is expanding its plant in Columbus, Miss., to serve as a final helicopter assembly and test site.
The state also is a major center for oil and gas investment as the fracking economy booms, with more than 13,000 miles of pipelines supporting Mississippi’s important role.
Did You Know?
Energy-based manufacturing wages in Mississippi are higher than the average manufacturing wage. In 2012, the average energy-based manufacturing wage was 1.55 times that of the average manufacturing wage. Because of more demand due to the natural gas revolution, energy-based manufacturing wages have grown recently at an average annual rate of 5.2 percent (compared to the manufacturing average of 4.2 percent)