Colorado’s business-friendly rankings have been sliding up and down the annual CNBC scorecard like tourists telemarking on I-70 in a January snowstorm.
When the rankings began in 2007, we debuted at number seven and gradually made our way up to number three in 2009. Then Gov. Hickenlooper was elected and we slid even farther down the trail into the eighth spot by 2014.
This year, we managed to climb back up to the number four slot, which interestingly enough, coincided with the GOP takeover of the state Senate.
What else did we do right? We were one of the fastest growing economies in the nation with strong job growth and low unemployment.
So what is keeping us from crossing the finish line as number one?
Colorado’s worst category is the cost of doing business with the state’s utility bills, particularly natural gas, being on the high side. The individual and corporate income tax rates are 4.63% and state sales tax is 2.9%, but local taxes can push it as high as 10.4%.
We were beat by Utah, who ranked third, Texas in second place, and Minnesota ranked first.
Since Hickenlooper has volunteered Colorado for the EPA’s latest climate scheme to close coal mine and raise utility prices even higher, we don’t expect to be winning the CNBC race for friendliest business state anytime soon.