Courtesy of Citybizlist – “And The Winner Is…Virginia“
That’s the headline greeting anyone who visits CNBC’s 2011 “Survey of America’s Top States for Business” online. Virginia ranks as the premiere place in America to do business while our home state of Maryland lags 28 spots behind.
In coming weeks, that disparity may get a lot worse. On Tuesday, the Maryland General Assembly will consider a proposal to impose a new six percent sales tax on professional services firms in Maryland, including small public relations firms like ours. The tax would also be applied to dozens of other services, from commercial cleaning to cell phone coverage.
Our opposition to this plan is not borne of partisanship. One of us is a lifelong Democrat and the other a lifelong Republican. We were both born and raised here. Our opposition is due to the severe decline in work and revenue professional services firms like ours will experience if House Bill 1051 becomes law. Consider the consequences:
The Virginia Factor: Virginia outranks Maryland in 9 out of 10 economic categories in CNBC’s survey, from overall economy to cost of living. Despite these odds, our respective firms “import” work and revenue to Maryland from Virginia clients, which we then spend in our communities in the form of personal income, philanthropy and by hiring employees and subcontractors. If House Bill 1051 becomes law, the importation of Virginia money may cease entirely for Maryland firms like ours.