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Twenty-eight states are headed for budget trouble, which could mean higher taxes for businesses, Laura Cohn writes in States Eye New Taxes. "What makes entrepreneurs really anxious is the uncertainty," she says. That's especially true because some states can raise taxes without warning. Cohn, who was a staff writer for BusinessWeek for seven years, also writes for the Financial Times.

Few family-owned businesses make it to the second generation, let alone the fifth or sixth. Rachel Watson got a hint as to why when she shot the photographs for The Success Gene. During one photo shoot, a company leader rolled his eyes while his parents discussed how they managed him. "It's almost like not moving out of your parents' house," Watson says. She's no stranger to photographing families. In 2006, in a project she called Family Farm, Watson followed a Brooklyn family that moved to upstate New York to start an organic farm. Watson's work has appeared in Time, Fortune, and People.

If you want to sponsor an event, Lauren Cooper has a good lead: The Midwestern Lumberjack Championships is looking for a sponsor for its 2008 women's sawing competition. Cooper, a former Inc. intern, tracked down 10 oddball opportunities for our story on event sponsorships. Her last piece for Inc. was about the lives of current and former Inc. 500 CEOs. "I was surprised that so many of them weren't college graduates," she says. "And that Bill Gates likes spray cheese out of a can."

Mark Mason wouldn't tell us how he kept his sand sculpture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from falling down. He created a replica of the tower, along with several other world wonders, as a backdrop to our travel gear guide. Mason carried the sand from his Florida home base in a suitcase, then built the sculptures in a New York City studio. For the South Carolina presidential primaries, Mason's company, Team Sandtastic, used 1,600 pounds of sand to build 9-foot-high busts of the candidates. Stephen Colbert was so jealous, he commissioned one of himself and featured it on The Colbert Report.

For Things I Can't Live Without, Athena Schindelheim interviewed Elijah Shaw, CEO of Icon Services, a company that provides security for artists such as Usher and 50 Cent. Shaw's list of must-haves wasn't all about Kevlar vests and bulletproof attaché cases; he also can't live without artesian water from Norway and designer shoes from Japan. "I love a businessman with style and a sense of humor," says Schindelheim, who recently moved from the editorial staff at Inc. to the event-planning team.

Last updated: Apr 1, 2008




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