Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Will Nebraska's 4.58 SBTCI get us into the BCS next year? Nebraska ranks 44th (out of 50) least favorable for business tax policiesThe Tax Foundation. The Tax Foundation's "State Business Tax Climate Index" (SBTCI) rates how favorable overall tax policies are in each state. Complete report, 56 pages pdf format here. Did you know that most job migration is between states with higher taxes to lower ones, rather than to overseas labor markets? " State lawmakers must be aware of how their state’s business climate matches up to their immediate neighbors and to other states within their region. " Tax incentives ala LB 775 are not the answer either:
In July of 2004 Florida lawmakers cried foul because a major credit card company announced it would close its Tampa call center, lay off 1,110workers, and outsource those jobs to another company. The reason for thelawmakers’ ire was that the company had been lured to Florida with a generous tax incentive package and had enjoyed nearly $3 million worth of tax breaks during the past nine years.
Usually states offer generous tax incentives to paper over an unfavorable tax climate:
If a state needs to offer such (incentive) packages, it is most likely covering for a woeful business climate plagued by bad tax policy. A far more effective approach is to systematically improve the business climate for the long term so as to improve the state’s competitiveness as compared to other states
What makes up a good state tax policy? It must be broad, low and fair to all businesses, in other words it shouldnt play favorites:
Good state tax systems levy low, flat rates on the broadest bases possible, and they treat all taxpayers the same. Variation in the tax treatment of different industries favors one economic activity or decision over another. The more riddled a tax system is with these politically motivated preferences the less likely it is that business decisions will be made in response to market forces.
Heres the kicker, guess who is in the "bottom ten" for good tax policy: 1. Wyoming 2. South Dakota 3. Alaska 4. Florida 5. Nevada 6. New Hampshire 7. Texas 8. Delaware 9. Montana 10. Oregon The ten worst states in the SBTCI are as follows: 41. Arkansas 42. Iowa 43. Nebraska 44. Kentucky 45. Maine 46. Vermont 47. Ohio 48. Rhode Island 49. New Jersey 50. New York Nebraska received high marks only for its fairly low unemployment costs. @ 14th in the country Add on to the unfavorable tax climate, NEbraska's high worker compensation medical costs, and we are overdue for reform.

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