Another day, another terrible national ranking for South Carolina …

The Palmetto State ranks 43rd out of fifty states in terms of the tax burden businesses must pay, a recent report reveals. Meanwhile our two closest rivals for jobs – Georgia and North Carolina – both ranked in the top ten nationally.

The report – prepared by the Anderson Economic Group – assesses “the total state and local taxes paid by business as a share of pre-tax operating margin, a measure of the money businesses have available to pay the tax.” That’s a much more accurate way to gauge the overall tax burden than simply looking at each state’s corporate tax rate – which is one assessment that only applies to select companies.

“South Carolina fared poorly on property taxes, unemployment insurance and license fees,” said one tax policy advisor who analyzed the report.

Ya think?

Businesses – particularly small businesses – are getting the shaft left and right in this state. Have been for years, in fact. They got nailed with the fallout from a botched 2006 property tax-sales tax shift, they got nailed when our state’s Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) couldn’t stop doling out erroneous benefits and they get nailed each year with an ever-escalating fee burden.

Then there’s the real problem: Crony capitalism.

Given its over-reliance on corporate handouts, the Palmetto State has been shifting – and raising – its tax burden on businesses for years. That’s been great for politicians eager to attend ribbon cutting ceremonies – but terrible for our state’s underlying economy.

Seriously … who do you think is paying for all those political bribes?

Palmetto policymakers – chiefly Gov. Nikki Haley, House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Senate finance chairman Hugh Leatherman – should take a very close look at this report’s findings.

But they won’t … and so our economic situation will continue to deteriorate.

It’s a great day in South Carolina,” our governor says. Our state is “just right,” her agencies claim.

Unless you’re trying to run a business …