Monday, November 1, 2010

What does Florida's favorable business tax rank tell us?

With crumbling infrastructure higher tax's, super cold winters how long before you see the move to Florida and brand new cheap infrastructure, housing, sunshine and did I mention lower tax's. I have been on this band wagon for a while now, as more articles like this get printed people will start to work it out.

Aivars Lode

What does Florida's favorable business tax rank tell us?

By Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist
In Print: Saturday, October 30, 2010

For a state where business taxes are condemned as too high and detrimental to economic growth, consider this:

Florida's got a better business tax climate than all but four other states. And not one of those four is east of the Mississippi or comes close to being a big population state.

Florida ranks fifth overall in the annual "state business tax climate index" — an annual analysis of the relative competitiveness of states based on their business tax structures. In fact, Florida has remained consistent at No. 5 on this index since at least 2006. Many other states vacillate in rank from year to year.

The index is assembled by the Tax Foundation, a 73-year-old nonpartisan, educational organization in Washington, D.C. The foundation found that states that kept their taxes low, their systems simple and — this one likely comes as a surprise to many people — minimized tax incentives to lure businesses tend to benefit the most.

"The top eight tax systems all raise sufficient revenue without imposing one or two of the three major state taxes" that include sales taxes, personal income taxes and corporate income taxes, said foundation president Scott Hodge.

The tax group argues that states with the best tax systems will be most competitive in attracting new businesses and best at boosting economic and employment growth.

In a period of U.S. history when so many folks — especially politicians trying to get elected this coming Tuesday — insist that there's no good tax but a lower one, Florida achieved its overall No. 5 status based on a weighted composite of these five taxes:

1. The state ranked 15th in corporate taxes.

2. The state shared the No. 1 spot in the category of individual income taxes. The state has none.

3. The state ranked 30th in sales taxes. Florida relies heavily on sales taxes because so many tourists visit the state and their purchases help support the tax base without additionally burdening state residents. Florida also can rely on sales taxes because neighboring states such as Georgia or Alabama are far from Florida's population centers and none offers big breaks on sales taxes. So there's no incentive to cross the state line in search of lower sales taxes.

4. The state ranked third in unemployment insurance taxes. These taxes are paid by employers into a program to finance benefits for workers recently unemployed. The good news is this state tax is low. The bad news — given Florida's 11.9 percent unemployment — is the state unemployment insurance program was overwhelmed last year. Rather than significantly raise the rate, the state has borrowed funds from the federal government to meet state unemployment obligations.

5. Finally, the state ranked 28th on property taxes levied on the wealth of individuals and businesses. These include taxes on real and personal property, net worth, and the transfer of assets. This is a touchy topic in Florida where property values have plummeted in recent years, but property taxes have not fallen nearly as much.

Bottom line? If Florida boasts the fifth best climate for business taxes in the country, why are cutting state business taxes or providing tax-free incentives to small businesses in such political vogue?

That's what happens when a big recession meets a too-close-to-call election.

Contact Robert Trigaux at

Business taxes:
How competitive is Florida?

State ranks in latest Tax Foundation analysis.

The best

1. South Dakota

2. Alaska

3. Wyoming

4. Nevada

5. Florida

The worst

46. Ohio

47. Connecticut

48. New Jersey

49. California

50. New York

Source: Tax Foundation 2011 State Business
Tax Climate Index

No comments:

Post a Comment