OUR VIEW: Suddenly, the Springs is in vogue (vote in poll)

May 14, 2010
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Some folks bellyache a lot here in Colorado Springs, bemoaning the cheap voters who won’t approve taxes that we’ve all been told could somehow result in economic development and prosperity. The national press has made a joke of the Springs for its fiscally conservative ways.

Meanwhile, the people who decide where to relocate businesses aren’t laughing. They’re planning to move here.

“Colorado Springs has developed a reputation that’s attractive to California companies that have been sorely abused by all levels of government out here,” said Joseph Vranich, a nationally renowned relocation coach in Irvine, Calif., who will be in Colorado Springs to speak to the Economic Development Corp. on May 24.

Vranich keeps a list of companies fleeing California. Recently, 12 additions to the list contained six companies that are relocating to Colorado Springs. Orange County Register business reporter Jan Norman published the list.

“My readers demanded to know why half of these 12 companies, which could go anywhere in the world, were going to Colorado Springs,” Norman told The Gazette.

She compared the costs of doing business in Colorado Spring with the costs of doing business in California: California’s income tax is 10.55 percent, Colorado’s is 4.63 percent; California’s top corporate income tax is 10.84 percent, Colorado’s is 4.63 percent; Colorado’s workers compensation overhead is 25 percent of California’s; Colorado Springs’ property tax is 0.4 to 0.5 percent of real value, Orange County’s is 1 percent or more; Colorado Springs electric rate is 4.5 cents per kilowatt hour, Southern California’s is 10 cents.

The Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp., running on a shoestring because of our city’s fiscally conservative decisions, has wasted no time telling California companies about our business-friendly, low-overhead environment. Dave White, the commission’s executive vice president of marketing, said California business owners have shared horror stories about taxes and regulations that make it impossible to function.

White said the Springs is attracting small-to-medium sized family-held companies that do 91 percent of their hiring locally, after they move here.

Vranich said a well-educated workforce also makes Colorado attractive. He said a lousy school system in Los Angeles has employers struggling to find employees who are able to perform simple tasks, such as typing e-mails.

(Please vote in poll to the right, in red type. Must vote to see results. Thanks!)

One client Vranich relocated to this region told him all regulatory agencies are easier to deal with in Colorado.

“He said in terms of regulatory agencies it’s night and day, going from California to Colorado,” Vranich said.

Low taxes, minimal regulation and limited government are pro-business. Without business, there can be no government of any sort. Without business, taxes mean nothing because nobody can pay them. Coming out of a devastating recession ahead of the game, Colorado Springs will get the last laugh.

Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor, for the editorial board. Friend him on Facebook

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