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When you work with me, you get personalized service tailored to your needs from a Certified Executive Resume Writer and former recruiter. My high success rate comes from my unprecedented skill in creating compelling, keyword-rich documents, plus 20+ years in the hiring industry. Contact An Expert Resume to find out how to win more interviews with my expert career marketing services. We offer professional resume writing services and executive resume writing to clients in major U.S. Omaha, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, Phoenix, Tucson, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, St. The Tax Foundation’s 2013 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. The absence of a major tax is a dominant factor in vaulting many of these ten states to the top of the rankings. The lesson is simple: a state that raises sufficient revenue without one of the major taxes will, all things being equal, have an advantage over those states that levy every tax in the state tax collector’s arsenal. Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York scores at the bottom this year by having the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes.
Maine had the most sizable rank improvement this year, as a repeal of their alternative minimum tax and a change in treatment of net operating losses vaulted them from 37th to 30th best overall. The 2013 Index represents the tax climate of each state as of July 1, 2012, the first day of the standard 2013 state fiscal year.
The modern market is characterized by mobile capital and labor, with all types of business, small and large, tending to locate where they have the greatest competitive advantage. It is important to remember that even in our global economy, states’ stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states. Tax competition is an unpleasant reality for state revenue and budget officials, but it is an effective restraint on state and local taxes. State lawmakers are always mindful of their states’ business tax climates but they are often tempted to lure business with lucrative tax incentives and subsidies instead of broad-based tax reform. Lawmakers create these deals under the banner of job creation and economic development, but the truth is that if a state needs to offer such packages, it is most likely covering for a woeful business tax climate. In reality, tax-induced economic distortions are a fact of life, so a more realistic goal is to maximize the occasions when businesses and individuals are guided by business principles and minimize those cases where economic decisions are influenced, micromanaged, or even dictated by a tax system.
Ranking the competitiveness of fifty very different tax systems presents many challenges, especially when a state dispenses with a major tax entirely. The Index deals with such questions by comparing the states on 118 different variables in the five important areas of taxation (major business taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and property taxes) and then adding the results up to a final, overall ranking.
Tiebout suggested that citizens with high demands for public goods would concentrate themselves in communities with high levels of public services and high taxes while those with low demands would choose communities with low levels of public services and low taxes. Connecticut recently imposed a temporary 20 percent surtax on top of its flat 7.5 percent corporate income tax, in effect raising its rate to 9 percent. No matter what level of government services individuals prefer, they want to know that public goods and services are provided efficiently. The economic literature over the past fifty years has slowly cohered around this hypothesis. Period one, with the exception of Tiebout, included the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and is summarized succinctly in three survey articles: Due (1961), Oakland (1978), and Wasylenko (1981). Ladd was writing in 1998, so her “period three” started in the late 1980s and continued up to 1998 when the quantity and quality of articles increased significantly.
Papke and Papke (1986) found that tax differentials between locations may be an important business location factor, concluding that consistently high business taxes can represent a hindrance to the location of industry. Bartik (1989) provides strong evidence that taxes have a negative impact on business start-ups. By the early 1990s, the literature expanded enough so that Bartik (1991) found fifty-seven studies on which to base his literature survey.
The large number of studies permitted Bartik to take a different approach from the other authors.
Mark, McGuire, and Papke (2000) found that taxes are a statistically significant factor in private-sector job growth. Harden and Hoyt (2003) point to Phillips and Gross (1995) as another study contending that taxes impact state economic growth, and they assert that the consensus among recent literature is that state and local taxes negatively affect employment levels. Gupta and Hofmann (2003) regressed capital expenditures against a variety of factors, including weights of apportionment formulas, the number of tax incentives, and burden figures.
Other economists have found that taxes on specific products can produce behavioral results similar to those that were found in these general studies.
Fleenor found that shopping areas sprouted in counties of low-tax states that shared a border with a high-tax state, and that approximately 13.3 percent of the cigarettes consumed in the United States during FY 1997 were procured via some type of cross-border activity.
Even though the general consensus of the literature has progressed to the view that taxes are a substantial factor in the decision-making process for businesses, there remain some authors who are not convinced.
Based on a substantial review of the literature on business climates and taxes, Wasylenko (1997) concludes that taxes do not appear to have a substantial effect on economic activity among states. Wasylenko’s rejoinder is that policymakers routinely overestimate the degree to which tax policy affects business location decisions and that as a result of this misperception, they respond readily to public pressure for jobs and economic growth by proposing lower taxes. However, there is ample evidence that states certainly still compete for businesses using their tax systems. Maine made changes to its corporate and individual income taxes that sizably improved their overall ranking in this edition of the Index. Some recent contributions to the literature on state taxation criticize business and tax climate studies in general.[8] Authors of such studies contend that comparative reports like the State Business Tax Climate Index do not take into account those factors which directly impact a state’s business climate. Fisher’s conclusion holds little weight because the five indexes serve such dissimilar purposes and each group has a different area of expertise.
Michigan has enacted a significant and long-overdue business tax reform that is reflected in this version of the Index. In 2011, Michigan voted to eliminate its troublesome Michigan Business Tax (MBT), a distortionary gross receipts tax that hurt both the state’s overall Index score and its score in the corporate tax component.
On January 1, 2012, the MBT was replaced with a flat 6 percent corporate income tax that was entirely free of tax preferences like credits for specific industries.
The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index is an indicator of which states’ tax systems are the most hospitable to business and economic growth. Although Fisher does not feel tax climates are important to states’ economic growth, other authors contend the opposite. Bittlingmayer, et al, also found that relative tax competitiveness matters, especially at the borders, and therefore, indexes that place a high premium on tax policies better explain growth. The taxes paid by businesses should be a concern to everyone because they are ultimately borne by individuals through lower wages, increased prices, and decreased shareholder value. Using the economic literature as our guide, we designed these five components to score each state’s business tax climate on a scale of zero (worst) to 10 (best). This improves the explanatory power of the State Business Tax Climate Index as a whole because components with higher standard deviations are those areas of tax law where some states have significant competitive advantages. In contrast with this variability in state sales tax rates, unemployment insurance tax systems are similar around the nation, so a small change in one state’s law could change its component ranking dramatically. Within each component are two equally weighted sub-indexes devoted to measuring the impact of the tax rates and the tax base.
The State Business Tax Climate Index is designed as a relative index rather than an absolute or ideal index. Many states’ tax rates are so close to each other that an absolute index would not provide enough information about the differences between the states’ tax systems, especially to pragmatic business owners who want to know what states have the best tax system in each region. In order to solve this problem, scores on the five major components are “normalized,” which brings the average score for all of them to 5.00— excluding states that do not have the given tax.
Starting with the 2006 edition, the Index has measured each state’s business tax climate as it stands at the beginning of the standard state fiscal year, July 1.
The marriage penalty section of the individual income tax sub-index was changed to a dummy variable which indicates states that have a marriage penalty built into their tax brackets and do not allow married taxpayers to file separately to avoid this penalty.

The Index generally penalizes states that have top income tax rates that kick in at high income levels and thus only apply to a relatively small proportion of taxpayers.
The Index includes an estimate of local individual income tax rates that are levied in addition to the state rate. This report includes 2011 and 2012 Index rankings and scores that can be used for comparison with the 2013 rankings and scores. The Tax Foundation will soon be seeking donor support to conduct the statutory and state tax system historical research to “backcast” the State Business Tax Climate Index to past years. One of America’s most established and relied-upon think tanks, the Tax Foundation has since 1937 worked for simple, sensible tax policy at the federal, state, and local levels. As a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit educational organization, donations to the Tax Foundation are tax-exempt to the extent allowable by law. The 2011 Charger has come a long way, so stepping up different editions will prove difficult, where there are already a number of variations. If the 2011 Charger offers a Super Bee edition then this will be the 4th generation Super bee. Welcome!The Grayline automotive blog strives to be your source for auto industry news and opinion. I had 4 offers and 7 interviews within 2 weeks of job searching and every single company commented on the resume!
64: 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index This is not the most recent version of this report. Property taxes and unemployment insurance taxes are levied in every state, but there are several states that do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax. The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.
Michigan made a sizable leap by replacing their cumbersome and distortionary gross receipts tax (the Michigan Business Tax) with a flat 6 percent corporate income tax that is largely free of special tax preferences.
One measure, total taxes paid, is relevant but other elements of a state tax system can also enhance or harm the competitiveness of a state’s business environment. The evidence shows that states with the best tax systems will be the most competitive in attracting new businesses and most effective at generating economic and employment growth. In Illinois early last decade, hundreds of millions of dollars of capital investments were delayed when then-Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed a hefty gross receipts tax.
It also helps to more efficiently allocate resources because businesses can locate in the states where they receive the services they need at the lowest cost.
This can be a dangerous proposition, as the example of Dell Computers and North Carolina illustrates.
A far more effective approach is to systematically improve the business tax climate for the long term so as to improve the state’s competitiveness. The more riddled a tax system is with politically motivated preferences, the less likely it is that business decisions will be made in response to market forces. Should Indiana’s tax system, which includes three relatively neutral taxes on sales, individual income and corporate income, be considered more or less competitive than Alaska’s tax system, which includes a particularly burdensome corporate income tax but no statewide tax on individual income or sales? This approach has the advantage of rewarding states on particularly strong aspects of their tax systems (or penalizing them on particularly weak aspects) while also measuring the general competitiveness of their overall tax systems. As early as 1956, Charles Tiebout postulated that if citizens were faced with an array of communities that offered different types or levels of public goods and services at different costs or tax levels, then all citizens would choose the community that best satisfied their particular demands, revealing their preferences by “voting with their feet.” Tiebout’s article is the seminal work on the topic of how taxes affect the location decisions of taxpayers. Competition among jurisdictions results in a variety of communities, each with residents that all value public services similarly.
This 20 percent surcharge is an increase on a supposedly temporary 10 percent surcharge that has been in place since 2009. To businesses, which can be more mobile and must earn profits to justify their existence, taxes reduce profitability.
Because there is little competition for providing government goods and services, ferreting out inefficiency in government is notoriously difficult.
Due’s was a polemic against tax giveaways to businesses, and his analytical techniques consisted of basic correlations, interview studies, and the examination of taxes relative to other costs.
This was a time of great ferment in tax policy as Congress passed major tax bills, including the so-called Reagan tax cut in 1981 and a dramatic reform of the tax code in 1986.
Articles that fit into period three begin to surface as early as 1985, as Helms (1985) and Bartik (1985) put forth forceful arguments based on empirical research that taxes guide business decisions.
Interestingly, they use the same type of after-tax model used by Tannenwald (1996), who reaches a different conclusion. This improved its score slightly because it lowers the overall rate of the tax and brings the state slightly closer to a flat treatment of income.
He finds specifically that property taxes, because they are paid regardless of profit, have the strongest negative effect on business. Instead of dwelling on the results and limitations of each individual study, he looked at them in the aggregate and in groups.
Agostini and Tulayasathien (2001) examined the effects of corporate income taxes on the location of foreign direct investment in U.S. Specifically, they found that personal property taxes and sales taxes have economically large negative effects on the annual growth of private employment (Mark, et al.
Harden and Hoyt conclude that the corporate income tax has the most significant negative impact on the rate of growth in employment. Their model covered fourteen years of data and determined that firms tend to locate property in states where they are subject to lower income tax burdens. For example, Fleenor (1998) looked at the effect of excise tax differentials between states on cross-border shopping and the smuggling of cigarettes. Similarly, Moody and Warcholik found that in 2000, 19.9 million cases of beer, on net, moved from low- to high-tax states. However, his conclusion is premised on there being few significant differences in state tax systems. According to Wasylenko, other legislative actions are likely to accomplish more positive economic results because in reality, taxes do not drive economic growth. A recent example comes from Illinois, where in early 2011 lawmakers passed two major tax increases.
In the corporate income tax code, a temporary ban on net operating loss carry forwards expired, returning Maine to the widely-used standard of allowing such carry forwards for up to twenty years.
However, a careful examination of these criticisms reveals that the authors believe taxes are unimportant to businesses and therefore dismiss the studies as merely being designed to advocate low taxes. There is no reason to believe that the Tax Foundation’s Index, which depends entirely on state tax laws, would rank the states in the same or similar order as an index that includes crime rates, electricity costs, and health care (Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s Small Business Survival Index), or infant mortality rates and the percentage of adults in the workforce (Beacon Hill’s State Competitiveness Report), or charter schools, tort reform, and minimum wage laws (Pacific Research Institute’s Economic Freedom Index).
This had the effect of catapulting the state’s corporate tax rank from 49th best (2nd worst) to 7th best, and their overall rank improved from 18th best to 12th best.
The Index does not purport to measure economic opportunity or freedom, nor even the broad business climate, but the narrower business tax climate.
Bittlingmayer, Eathington, Hall, and Orazem (2005) find in their analysis of several business climate studies that a state’s tax climate does affect its economic growth rate and that several indexes are able to predict growth. Also, they observed that studies focused on a single topic do better at explaining economic growth at borders. Each component is devoted to a major area of state taxation and includes numerous variables. Rather, each component is weighted based on the variability of the fifty states’ scores from the mean. Businesses that are comparing states for new or expanded locations must give greater emphasis to tax climates when the differences are large. One problem associated with a relative scale is that it is mathematically impossible to compare states with a given tax to states that do not have the tax. Another problem with using a relative scale within the components is that the average scores across the five components vary.
Therefore, this edition is the 2013 Index and represents the tax climate of each state as of July 1, 2012, the first day of fiscal year 2013 for most states. However, previous editions of the Index included an exception that did not penalize states if the top individual or corporate income tax rate kicked in at an income level more than one standard deviation above the average for all states.
In previous editions of the Index this had been calculated as a weighted average of statutory rates in large counties and municipalities.
These can differ from previously published Index rankings and scores, due to enactment of retroactive statutes, backcasting of the above methodological changes, and corrections to variables brought to our attention since the last report was published. We do this by informing Americans about the size of tax burdens and providing economically principled analysis of tax policy issues.

This improved their overall rank from 18th to 12th best, and their corporate ranking from 49th to 7th best.
When a state imposes higher taxes than a neighboring state, businesses will cross the border to some extent. Business taxes affect business decisions, job creation and retention, plant location, competitiveness, the transparency of the tax system, and the long-term health of a state’s economy. Every tax law will in some way change a state’s competitive position relative to its immediate neighbors, its geographic region, and even globally. Theoretically, then, businesses could be expected to be more responsive than individuals to the lure of low-tax jurisdictions. Articles revealing the economic significance of tax policy proliferated and became more sophisticated. Helms concluded that a state’s ability to attract, retain, and encourage business activity is significantly affected by its pattern of taxation. Although he acknowledged potential criticisms of individual studies, he convincingly argued that some systematic flaw would have to cut across all studies for the consensus results to be invalid.
Furthermore, Gupta and Hofmann suggest that throwback requirements are most influential on the location of capital investment, followed by apportionment weights and tax rates, and that investment-related incentives have the least impact.
He asserts that lawmakers need better advice than just “Lower your taxes,” but there is no coherent message advocating a different course of action.
Fisher’s major argument is that if the indexes did what they purported to do, then all five of them would rank the states similarly. We do so not only because the Tax Foundation’s expertise is in taxes, but because every component of the Index is subject to immediate change by state lawmakers. In fact, they found, “The State Business Tax Climate Index explains growth consistently.” This finding was recently confirmed by Anderson (2006) in a study for the Michigan House of Representatives. Lastly, the article concludes that the most important elements of the business climate are tax and regulatory burdens on business (Bittlingmayer et al.
Fisher finds support from Robert Tannenwald, formerly of the Boston Federal Reserve, who argues that taxes are not as important to businesses as public expenditures.
Every change to a state’s tax system makes its business tax climate more or less competitive compared to other states and makes the state more or less attractive to business.
The standard deviation of each component is calculated and a weight for each component is created from that measure. On the other hand, components in which the fifty state scores are clustered together, closely distributed around the mean, are those areas of tax law where businesses are more likely to de-emphasize tax factors in their location decisions. The relative scoring scale is from 0 to 10, with zero meaning not “worst possible” but rather worst among the fifty states.
As a zero rate is the lowest possible rate and the most neutral base since it creates the most favorable tax climate for economic growth, those states with a zero rate on individual income, corporate income, or sales gain an immense competitive advantage. In the 2012 edition the average local rate has been changed to an effective rate equal to total local income tax collections divided by state personal income. Other concerns, such as raw materials or infrastructure or a skilled labor pool, matter, but a simple, sensible tax system can positively impact business operations with regard to these very resources. In 2005, California-based Intel decided to build a multi-billion dollar chip-making facility in Arizona due to its favorable corporate income tax system.
Therefore, states with more competitive tax systems score well in the Index because they are best suited to generate economic growth.
Many of the incentives came in the form of tax credits from the state and local governments. Ultimately, it will affect the state’s national standing as a place to live and to do business. Oakland was skeptical of the assertion that tax differentials at the local level had no influence at all. Furthermore, tax increases significantly retard economic growth when the revenue is used to fund transfer payments. Bartik’s findings, as well as those of Mark, McGuire, and Papke (2000) and ample anecdotal evidence of the importance of property taxes, buttress the argument for inclusion of a property index devoted to property-type taxes in the Index.
In striking contrast to previous reviewers, he concluded that taxes have quite large and significant effects on business activity. They determined that for “foreign investors, the corporate tax rate is the most relevant tax in their investment decision.” Therefore, they found that foreign direct investment was quite sensitive to states’ corporate tax rates. Their results, supported by the literature in both cases, showed significant cross-border shopping and smuggling between low-tax states and high-tax states. These two changes improved Maine’s overall rank from 37th best last year to 30th best this year. Michigan also offered hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits against the MBT to favored businesses and industries. It is by no means clear what the best course of action is for state lawmakers who want to thwart crime, for example, either in the short or long term, but they can change their tax codes now. Tannenwald compares twenty-two states by measuring the after-tax rate of return to cash flow of a new facility built by a representative firm in each state.
Ultimately, anecdotal and empirical evidence, along with the cohesion of recent literature around the conclusion that taxes matter a great deal to business, show that the Index is an important and useful tool for policymakers who want to make their states’ tax systems welcoming to business. For example, Delaware is known to have a significant advantage in sales tax competition because its tax rate of zero attracts businesses and shoppers from all over the mid-Atlantic region. Therefore, states without a given tax generally receive a 10, and the Index measures all the other states against each other. Furthermore, unlike changes to a state’s health care, transportation, or education system—which can take decades to implement—changes to the tax code can quickly improve a state’s business climate. So state lawmakers are right to be concerned about how their states rank in the global competition for jobs and capital, but they need to be more concerned with companies moving from Detroit, MI, to Dayton, OH, rather than from Detroit to New Delhi. If taxes take a larger portion of profits, that cost is passed along to either consumers (through higher prices), employees (through lower wages or fewer jobs), or shareholders (through lower dividends or share value). Entrepreneurial states can take advantage of the tax increases of their neighbors to lure businesses out of high-tax states. Besley and Case (1995) showed that “yardstick competition” affects voting behavior and Bosch and Sole-Olle (2006) further confirmed the results found by Besley and Case. However, because econometric analysis was relatively unsophisticated at the time, he found no significant articles to support his intuition.
Bartik found that the conventional view that state and local taxes have little effect on business, as he describes it, is false. Contrary to Fisher’s contrarian 1970s view that the effects of taxes are “small or non-existent,” our study reflects overwhelming evidence that business decisions are significantly impacted by tax considerations. These findings support the argument that taxes impact business decisions and economic growth, and they support the validity of the Index. This very different approach attempts to compute the marginal effective tax rate (METR) of a hypothetical firm and yields results that make taxes appear trivial.
That advantage and its drawing power increase every time a state in the region raises its sales tax. This means that state lawmakers must be aware of how their states’ business climates match up to their immediate neighbors and to other states within their regions.
Thus a state with lower tax costs will be more attractive to business investment, and more likely to experience economic growth. Tax changes that are out of sync with neighboring jurisdictions will impact voting behavior. Wasylenko’s survey of the literature found some of the first evidence indicating that taxes do influence business location decisions.
However, the statistical significance was lower than that of other factors such as labor supply and agglomeration economies. Mixing scalar and dummy variables within a sub-index is problematic because the extreme valuation of a dummy can overly influence the results of the sub-index. To counter this effect, the Index weights scalar variables 80 percent and dummy variables 20 percent.

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