Corporate Finance & Governance | Financial Planning | Leadership / Management | Taxation

Maryland’s business climate: Good, bad … or both?

GlassFirst, the good news: Maryland is a great place to do business.

Now, the bad news: Maryland is a terrible place to do business.

Confused? You're not alone. In a week like this one, in which separate reports paint seemingly conflicting pictures of Maryland's business climate, some folks are sure to be left scratching their heads.

It all boils down to your point of view, really.

The first of the reports, from the non-partisan Tax Foundation, ranks the states based on "the taxes that matter most to businesses and business investment: corporate income, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance taxes." The results: Only five states have worse business tax environments than Maryland.


The pain was short-lived, though. The very next day, Forbes released its 2009 ranking of the best states in which to do business. And Maryland? It came in 12th, up two spots from 2008.

The difference? Taxes didn't factor as heavily into the Forbes ranking. Instead, according to the Baltimore Business Journal, "the report ranked the 50 U.S. states in six categories: Costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life."

So the question is this: Is your glass half empty or half full? Is Maryland a costly or constructive place in which to do business? Or is it a bit of both?

If that's the case, maybe we just need to change our perspective and find a smaller glass.


Bill Sheridan