Texas, the Lone Star State is No. 2 this year on our list for America’s Top States for Business. Texas also finished second last year, and although growth has slowed, the Texan economy is still No. 1 in the country. Despite big budget challenges brought on by low oil prices, state finances are strong.
The job market is healthy, too, with unemployment just below the national average. Texas has no individual or corporate income tax — just a state franchise tax at 0.75 percent. The state and local sales tax tops out at 8.25 percent.
The largest employer in the state is the HEB supermarket chain, and the state’s largest industry is mining, including oil and natural gas.
But the perennial weak spot for Texas is Education, where it lands in just 40th place. In the Quality of Life category, Texas drops to 37th. It is also an unhealthy state and has the largest percentage of uninsured residents. Texas is also among the least inclusive states in the nation; it is one of only five states with no anti-discrimination laws for public facilities.
Still, Texas is the only state to finish in the Top States’ Top 5 in all 10 years of the study, including top finishes in 2008, 2010 and 2012.