Rule Five Business Tax Climate Friday

The Tax Foundation’s 2024 State Business Tax Climate Index is out, and again our own Alaska comes out looking pretty decent. California and New York, along with other blue states? Not so much.

A look at the ten best and the ten worse alone, is revealing. Spoiler: Red states v. blue states.

The 10 best states in this year’s Index are:

1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Montana
6. New Hampshire
7. Nevada
8. Utah
9. North Carolina
10. Indiana

The 10 lowest-ranked, or worst, states in this year’s Index are:

41. Rhode Island
42. Hawaii
43. Vermont
44. Minnesota
45. Maryland
46. Massachusetts
47. Connecticut
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey

Read the whole report, by all means; it’s long and somewhat textbooky but invites scrutiny and thought. And, yes, the conclusions are obvious; the best states are almost all Republican-controlled, while the worst… aren’t.

Consider the implications of that.

We’ve known for some time that places like New Jersey (dead last in the rankings) New York (second to dead last) and California (third to dead last) were in trouble for some time now.  All three of those states are hemorrhaging residents, and almost all of the people who are fleeing are moving to more tax-friendly locales, like Florida (#4) Utah (#8) and North Carolina (#9).

That’s to be expected, of course. People always have and always will vote with their feet.

The Center Square has some observations about this report as well:

New Jersey bottomed out the list, one spot above New York — while Connecticut ranked 47, Massachusetts 46, Vermont 43 and Rhode Island 41. In stark contrast, New Hampshire ranked the sixth best in the nation, while Maine ranked 34.

The Tax Foundation cites several “afflictions” contributing to the poor rankings for the northeast, including “complex, nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates,” according to the report.

The Tax Foundation argues New Jersey’s highest in the nation property tax burden and corporate income tax rate, in addition to having one of the highest individual income tax rates, as significant factors in the state’s low ranking.

Again, this should come as a surprise to no one.  The only baffling thing in this, as in previous such reports, so many of the residents of these states keep voting in the same lunatics to be in charge of these asylums.

I would also note that Alaska, while having a very favorable business tax climate (#3), isn’t exactly an industrial powerhouse. Our population is small and, except for Anchorage, scattered widely across the vastness of the Great Land. Alaska’s infrastructure really isn’t suited to being a manufacturing powerhouse.  I expect the Great Land will remain as it is, a lovely, wild, free place, depending largely on tourism and North Slope oil for our economy.

We like it that way just fine.