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Taxman is easier to take in Nev. and Fla., study finds

Taxes may be inevitable, but at least they’re a little more tolerable for businesses in Nevada, Florida and Washington, according to a new ranking of the 50 states by their commercial tax codes.

The Tax Foundation found that the codes are most burdensome in New York, which edged out New Jersey (number 49) and California (48) for that dubious distinction.

The tax climate was the least burdensome in Wyoming and South Dakota, the Foundation said. Third on the list was Nevada, followed by Alaska, Florida and Washington.

The group, which describes itself as non-partisan, noted that Arizona improved its ranking by five positions, to number 22 on the list, and Kansas jumped six rungs, to number 20. Texas, Virginia and Kentucky all slipped, the Foundation reported.

“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,” Foundation economist Scott Drenkard said in a statement accompanying the release of the new State Business Tax Climate Index. “By contrast, the states that improved did so because they moved closer to a tax code that collects revenue without unnecessarily distorting business decisions.”

He acknowledged that the Foundation has a political goal: “To start a conversation with policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country.

“With this report,” explained Drenkard, “we’re asking: ‘how well is your tax code structured? Are businesses in your state spending too much time complying with onerous tax provisions? Are you double taxing things you shouldn’t?’”

The new index is the tenth to be issued by the Foundation.  The group was founded in 1937 to monitor fiscal policies at the local, state and federal levels.

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