Tax Foundation Data Cited by Government Officials in California, South Carolina, Minnesota, and Rhode Island

January 16, 2009

We’re pleased to see the impact our research has been making lately: elected officials in four states have recently used Tax Foundation data in speeches and op-eds. Here are the details:

On Jan. 10, California Congressman Devin Nunes (21st District) cited the Tax Foundation’s State-Local Tax Burdens report in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “California’s Gold Rush Has Been Reversed.” He wrote, “While it has the sixth highest tax burden in the nation, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, California is facing a breathtaking $40 billion budget deficit this year. This comes on the heels of a decade-long spending spree. Last year the state budget was $131 billion, up from $56 billion in 1998.” To read the full op-ed, click here.

Also on January 10, South Carolina’s Commerce Secretary, Joe Taylor, cited the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index in an op-ed supporting a phase-out of the state’s corporate income tax. Taylor wrote:

Gov. Mark Sanford recently proposed a tax plan that would spur job creation and economic growth in South Carolina. The plan would separate South Carolina from its competition, generate even more interest in our state and create a strong recruiting incentive while providing a means to grow existing businesses.

The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., stated that if implemented South Carolina would move from 25th to number six on the Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. Clearly, the immediate impact, if implemented, would further enhance South Carolina’s reputation as an attractive place to do business.

Read Taylor’s op-ed, “Without Corporate Income Tax, S.C. Would Win.” Governor Sanford also mentioned the Tax Foundation State Business Tax Climate Index in his State of the State address on January 14.

Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri referred to the Tax Foundation’s State-Local Tax Burdens report in his Jan. 7 budget address, although he did not mention us by name. He said, “When I first came into office, Rhode Island’s total tax burden—both state and local—was the 4th highest in the nation. After a lot of hard work, last year we dropped to 10th—one of the best improvements in the country. But, by comparison, Massachusetts is at 23rd, so we still have a long way to go!“ Read the speech here (PDF). (This quote is from page 3.)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty referred to the Tax Foundation’s corporate tax research in his State of the State address:

For starters, Minnesota’s business tax rate is way too high. A recent study by the Tax Foundation concluded that if Minnesota were a country, we’d have the third highest business tax rates in the world. It’s way out of line and it needs to get fixed.

Today, I’m proposing that we cut Minnesota’s business tax rate in half. This means reducing the current 9.8 percent business tax rate to 4.8 percent over the next 6 years. This will take us from having one of the worst business tax rates in the country, to having one of the best. It will help us keep and attract more jobs.

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