Published Oct. 9, 2013
South Carolina’s No.-37 ranking among the 50 states is unchanged from last year in the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index. The Tax Foundation’s report places Wyoming at No. 1 and New York at No. 50.
No. 11 Texas dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time. Virginia and Kentucky both fell three places, to No. 26 and No. 27, respectively.
“The states that lost ground this year usually did so because they changed policy in a way that makes the tax code more complex, burdensome, or economically harmful,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “By contrast, the states that improved did so because they are moving closer to a tax code that collects revenue without unnecessarily distorting business decisions. Their tax codes became more neutral.”
The State Business Tax Climate Index — now in its 10th edition — collected data on July 1, the first day of the fiscal year, on more than 100 tax provisions for each state and synthesized them into a single score. The states were then compared so that each state’s ranking is relative to actual policies in place in other states around the country. A state’s ranking can rise or fall significantly based not just on its own actions, but on the changes made by other states.
While ranked No. 37 overall, South Carolina ranked No. 10 in corporate tax, No. 40 in individual income tax, No. 22 in sales tax, No. 30 in unemployment insurance tax and No. 21 in property tax.
The top-10 states overall for fiscal 2014 are No. 1 Wyoming, No. 2 South Dakota, No. 3 Nevada, No. 4 Alaska, No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Washington, No. 7 Montana, No. 8 New Hampshire, No. 9 Utah and No. 10 Indiana.
The 10-lowest ranked states for 2014 are No. 41 Maryland, No. 42 Connecticut, No. 43 Wisconsin, No. 44 North Carolina, No. 45 Vermont, No. 46 Rhode Island, No. 47 Minnesota, No. 48 California, No. 49 New Jersey, and No. 50 New York.
Drenkard said the report focuses attention on states’ tax codes, onerous tax provisions and “double taxing things.”
The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan research organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937.