Perspectives 3
January 16, 2017
2Q 2016 Middle Market Indicator
The National Center for The Middle Market

PUBLIC SERVICES

Former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson famously quipped, “Your public servants serve you right.” This quarter we asked a set of questions to elicit how government services help, hold, or hinder middle market companies, at federal, state, and local levels.

The headline: local governments do pretty well in executives’ estimation, whether in basic services like infrastructure and policing, regulations and incentives, or value-added services like trade promotion or workforce training. States are viewed less favorably, and the federal government trails for everything from infrastructure to taxes. A few federal programs score high, especially energy efficiency and Commerce Department programs. Unsurprisingly, satisfaction varies greatly by industry, state, and region.

Overall, the regulatory burden is not egregious: 35% say it is just right, 51% say it is high but manageable, and just 13% say it is unmanageably high. System complexity appears to hurt middle market companies. Big enough to operate across boundaries but lean in their compliance staffing and expertise, they struggle with overlapping taxes and rules. Asked if they could choose either tax reduction or tax simplification, but not both, they pick simplification, 50% to 42%. (Eight percent don’t have a problem either way.) Nearly a third (31%) say regulatory overlap creates major hurdles to getting work done.

To read the full article, click here.