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- Which States Are Best for Business?
Which States Are Best for Business?
Tax Foundation Releases Rankings on "Business-Friendliness" of State Tax Systems
Washington, DC, January 25, 2012 -- Wyoming, Florida, and Texas rank among the ten best states for taxes on business, while companies in states like New York, New Jersey, and California have a far less pleasant tax climate to deal with, according to a new report by the Tax Foundation.
The State Business Tax Climate Index, now in its 8th edition, accounts for dozens of state tax provisions, creating a single easy-to-use score that measures each state against the tax climates of every other state. Each state's ranking is therefore relative to the actual tax policies in place around the country, not a measurement against a theoretical "perfect" system.
The Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states' tax systems compare. While some similar studies focus on the total amount residents pay in taxes each year, the Index focuses on how the elements of a state tax system enhance or harm the competitiveness of a state's business environment.
"Even in our global economy, a state's stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states," said Tax Foundation economist Mark Robyn. "State lawmakers need to be aware of how their states' business climates match up to their immediate neighbors and to other states in their region."
The 10 best states in this year's 2012 Index are Wyoming (#1), South Dakota (#2), Nevada (#3), Alaska (#4), Florida (#5), New Hampshire (#6), Washington (#7), Montana (#8), Texas (#9), and Utah (#10). Many of these states do not have one or more of the major taxes, and thus do not have the associated complexity and distortions.
The 10 lowest ranked, or worst, states in the 2012 Index are Iowa (#41), Maryland (#42), Wisconsin (#43), North Carolina (#44), Minnesota (#45), Rhode Island (#46), Vermont (#47), California (#48), New York (#49), and New Jersey (#50). While New Jersey remained steady compared with 2011, Rhode Island improved by implementing a modest income tax reform. The states in the bottom ten generally have complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.
Illinois moved most dramatically in its Index rank over the past year, falling twelve places after a significant income and corporate tax increase. Other states seeing a decline in their ranking include Vermont, which fell four places, while Massachusetts and North Dakota both advanced four places up the chart.
In 2011, the State Business Tax Climate Index was downloaded 487,000 times and cited in hundreds of newspaper articles, editorials, and broadcast media reports. Four governors also cited the Index's findings in their State of the State addresses.
The Tax Foundation has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. To schedule an interview, please contact Richard Morrison, the Tax Foundation's Manager of Communications, at 202-464-5102 or email@example.com.