WASHINGTON – Each year, the Tax Foundation releases its State Business Climate Index, a gauge of each U.S. state's friendliness to business, at least as far as taxes.
In the latest report, Florida ranks No. 4, trailing only Wyoming, South Dakota and Alaska.
The foundation says its index "enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states' tax systems compare … the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems, and provides a roadmap for improvement."
The top 10 states, in order, are Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, Montana, New Hampshire, Indiana, Utah, and Texas.
The bottom 10 states are Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Minnesota, California, New York and, in last place, New Jersey.
Illinois improved from 31st to 23rd due to the sunset of higher corporate and individual income taxes enacted in 2011.
Nevada dropped from 3rd to 5th after enacting a new modified gross receipts tax, the Commerce tax.
New York remains 49th overall but its corporate tax component rose dramatically from 21st to 12th after a significant multi-year corporate tax reform began to take effect.
Rhode Island improved its corporate tax component after finally repealing its antiquated capital stock tax and reducing its corporate tax rate from 9 percent to 7 percent.
The District of Columbia improved three ranks as it continued to phase in a tax reform package that lowered individual income tax rates for middle-income brackets, expanded the sales tax base, reduced business taxes and raised the estate tax exemption.
Additional tax changes in Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas are scheduled for future years but had not taken effect by July 1, 2015.