Top Ten States for Business

The Tax Foundation has out its annual list of the top (and bottom) ten U.S. states for business from a tax perspective:

Top 10: Bottom 10:

1. Wyoming           41. Maine
2. South Dakota     42. Minnesota
3. Nevada             43. Nebraska
4. Alaska               44. Vermont
5. Florida              45. Iowa
6. Montana            46. Ohio
7. New Hampshire   47. California
8. Texas                48. New York
9. Delaware           49. New Jersey
10. Oregon            50. Rhode Island


  1. Well, the one thing the article does not clarify is whether this is the cost of establishing a business or operating a business.
    Because a lot of companies are incorporated in one place (e.g. Delaware) but operate out of another (e.g. CA).
    I’m guessing it’s the latter, but I can’t really say that I know too many corporations operating out of Wyoming, South Dakota or for that matter Montana.
    I’m also surprised at Ohio being listed in the bottom ten, mostly because there are several large corporations headquartered in and around just Cincinnati – P&G, GE Aviation, Cincinnati Bell, Convergys etc.

  2. One Way Stox says:

    bottom four states
    50. Rhode Island–Blue State
    49. New Jersey–Blue State
    48. New York — Blue State
    47. California–Blue State

  3. Andy Spencer says:

    It’s hard to take very seriously a list that ranks California as the 47th best state for business. I’ve lived in eight states and currently live in California. It’s the most entrepreneurial place I’ve ever seen and there are a treasure trove of companies spanning all facets of the economy. If it’s bad for business, tell my why so many people like me are moving to California?
    This place is inspiring from a business perspective, especially coming from my home state of Michigan.

  4. Sam Penrose says:

    The relationship between state tax policy and what Texas oligarchs like to call a “healthy bidness climate” is obviously complicated, but you wouldn’t learn that from The Tax Foundation. I’m disappointed that you would pay them the compliment of a link.

  5. Mean Mister Mustard says:

    Yeah, I am going to leave Manhattan or Silicon Valley and move to South Dakota to get a lower tax rate. This is such a no brainer, since taxes are the only thing that matters and all else will surely be equal no matter where I go.
    The media and bloggers need to get with it and realize that much of what has been written about taxes (like this piece or comment #2 by “One Way Stox”) are just plain douchebag-ness. It is not about making business better, it is about perpetuating a very simple-minded cult.

  6. Andy Nelson says:

    6 of the top 8 have a lot of natural resource industries and the index does not include resource royalties which I beleive are taxes. The top of the list would look different with royalties included.
    For a significant minority in California, de-industrialization is not an unfortunate side effect of tax, environment, and energy policies, it is their intended result.

  7. I need to check the link to see if it explains how state and local tax concessions for major enterprises figure into this assessment. It’s a very different picture for a small business setting up shop in Arlington, TX and paying full taxes in every aspect vs. whatever Arlington offered in breaks in exchange for landing the Cowboys; likewise, a person running a dry cleaner in Richardson, TX vs. the rate that Nortel ends up paying after all of their local tax breaks in exchange for employing thousands of people in that city. Bottom line: locate your business where it makes good sense to run it and have great employees and serve your customers.

  8. One Way Stox says:

    mean mister mustard —
    NJ’s population has dropped by 250,000 IN THE PAST TWO YEARS DUE TO HIGH TAX RATES.
    so, take your ‘…just plain douchebag-ness…’ over to your favorite hate-site like DailyKOS or Huffington Post.

  9. The problem with this survey is that it doesn’t factor in the revenue potential that comes with operating in each state, access to investors, employees, business partners, etc.
    Not to mention things like population density and variables related to the type of business.
    If you were to rank states based on economic output per person and then do an analysis of how changes in tax laws could improve said output, you’d have a more credible survey.
    I don’t see businesses moving to Wyoming in droves no matter what this survey says.

  10. Andy Nelson says:

    Don’t Laff but Wyoming not only has the lowest tax rate, it also has the highest growth rate of state tax revenue.

  11. Mean Mister Mustard says:

    Guys, these issues should be a lot more boring to you all than they are. Here is the deal: I think we all agree that ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL lower taxes are a good thing. The problem of course is that we never, ever see that ALL ELSE IS EQUAL. My favorite anecdote about this is that Pakistan is famous for having some of the lowest taxes in the world, only a very small part of the country pays any income tax at all. Sweden has some of the highest taxes in the world. Now which country are you going to want to:
    1. live in?
    2. invest in?
    For most of you question 1 is easy. Question 2 depends enormously on the industry type (high value added probably wants Sweden, commodity related-industries Pakistan). But in any case, you are a simpleton if you solely make your case on taxes.
    As to NJ, please. There is a million and one things happening in NJ. I mean, for how many decades has it been called the armpit of the nation? Is that JUST a function of taxes? Is it perhaps a function of the fact that NJ gets badly treated by the federal government, while farm states and southern states are massively subsidized (with a lot of NJ taxpayers money)? Now that is a very interesting tax issue that the tax cut cultists never like to admit, that redistribution is mostly a problem of taking from high productivity Democratic states and giving to the low productivity Republican states. Maybe if NJ taxpayers didn’t subsidize Mississippi, Nebraska, Wyoming, etc. they wouldn’t feel the need to leave NJ. Yeah, that’s conjucture, but is more informed than the conjecture that people left because of “high tax rates”.
    P.S. Andy Nelson, you make me Laff.