SBE Council’s “Business Tax Index” Ranks State Tax Systems

Oakton, VA (PRESS RELEASE – May 1, 2010) – Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) published the “Business Tax Index 2010: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business,” which ranks the 50 states and District of Columbia according to the costs of their tax systems for entrepreneurship and small business.

Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for SBE Council and author of the report, said: “The economy started to hit rough waters in late 2007. Lawmakers at the federal level made matters worse by imposing and pushing for increased tax and regulatory burdens that will raise costs for the entrepreneurial sector of the economy. Unfortunately, state lawmakers in many states have piled on with their own burdens. Indeed, many state tax systems send an unmistakable signal to investors and entrepreneurs that they would be better off doing business elsewhere.”

Keating added: “Taxes at the state and local levels matter by diverting resources from and reducing incentives for productive, private-sector risk taking that generates innovation, growth and jobs. Quite simply, economic recovery will be restrained by high and/or increasing taxes, or boosted by low and/or falling taxes. Governors and legislators have a choice.”

SBE Council’s “Business Tax Index 2010” pulls together 16 different tax measures, and combines those into one tax score that allows the 50 states and District of Columbia to be compared. Among the taxes included are income, capital gains, property, death/inheritance, unemployment, and various consumption-based taxes, including state gas and diesel levies.

According to the “Business Tax Index 2010,” the 10 best state tax systems are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Texas, 3) Nevada, 4) Wyoming, 5) Washington, 6) Florida, 7) Alabama, 8)Alaska, 9) Ohio, and 10) Colorado.

The 10 worst state tax systems are: 42) Massachusetts, 43) Oregon, 44) Vermont, 45) Iowa, 46) Maine, 47) New York, 48) California, 49) Minnesota, 50) New Jersey, and 51) District of Columbia.

SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan added: “We applaud the political leaders of states who have refrained from raising taxes on the nation’s job creators. Sales have been down and business owners continue to struggle with rising costs such as health care coverage. States that have kept taxes low will reap rewards as their businesses recover more quickly and shore-up durability for the long term. Low-tax states will become even more competitive for investment and business relocation.”

The SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit small business advocacy organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For more information please contact 703-242-5840, or visit:

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