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Report: N.Y. has nation's worst business climate

Rochester Business Journal
October 9, 2012

After a two-year reprieve, New York has regained its status as the state with the least-friendly business climate, a report released Tuesday by the Tax Foundation shows.

New York ranks 50th on the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index, replacing New Jersey, last on the list in 2011 and 2012. New York was 49th the last two years, and 50th in 2010.

Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York has the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes and the sixth-worst property taxes, the Tax Foundation reported.

“The findings of the Tax Foundation’s latest business tax climate report clearly show that we have a long way to go before we can say that we’re open for business,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of the Unshackle Upstate coalition of businesses and employers, in a statement.
The report comes four days after General Motors Co. announced plans to move its fuel-cell research operations in Honeoye Falls—where some 220 are employed—to Pontiac, Mich., and two weeks after Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. said it will close its military helicopter facility in Chemung County, eliminating 570 jobs.

“’This report, coupled with the recent job-loss announcements from Sikorsky and General Motors, highlights the importance of supporting pro-business, pro-growth candidates in this year’s elections,” Sampson said.

“It is time that we start to fix our laws so that we can create jobs and stop making young people our top export.”

New York and New Jersey are joined in the bottom 10 by Maryland at No. 41, Iowa at No. 42, Wisconsin at No. 43, North Carolina at No. 44, Minnesota at No. 45, Rhode Island at No. 46, Vermont at No. 47 and California at No. 48.

The worst-ranking states suffer from complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates, the Tax Foundation reported.

Wyoming has the friendliest climate for business taxes. It is followed by South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Florida, Washington, New Hampshire, Montana, Texas and Utah.

The State Business Tax Climate Index uses data from more than 100 tax provisions for each state and synthesizes them into a single score, the Tax Foundation reported.

“Even in our global economy, a state’s strongest and most immediate competition often comes from other states,” Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard said in a statement.

The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research organization, has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937.

“State lawmakers need to be aware of how their state’s business climate matches up to their immediate neighbors and to other states in their region,” he said.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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