The Tax Foundation released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index today, and once again New York did not fare well. This is the second consecutive year the state ranks last for overall taxes. New York was in the bottom five for three types of taxes:
— 49th in personal income taxes
— 45th in property taxes
— 45th in unemployment insurance taxes
In fact, New York ranks last among all states for overall taxes, according to the Tax Foundation. California is 48th and New Jersey is 49th. The top five states for business climate are Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska and Florida.
“The states in the bottom 10 suffer from the same afflictions: complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates,” the Tax Foundation’s report said.
New York did better in the other rankings, placing 25th for corporate taxes and 38th for sales taxes.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made it one of the priorities of his administration to improve New York’s tax climate. Last week he announced the creation of a Tax Relief Commission, led by former Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, and former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, a Democrat. Cuomo is a Democrat.
The panel is charged with finding ways to cut $2 billion to $3 billion in taxes over the next few years. New York is expecting an estimated surplus of $1.5 billion in 2016 and $2.9 billion in the 2017 state fiscal year. Members have until Dec. 6 to make recommendations to Cuomo.
“Our property taxes are grossly unfair, and compared to the rest of the country, they are a gross burden,” the governor said in announcing the commission at Manhattanville College last week.
The National Federation of Independent Business criticized New York’s poor showing. “We can’t let that reputation solidify, which means that real tax relief must be the Legislature’s top priority,” Mike Durant, state director of the group, said in a statement.
“The state has spent millions trying to change improve its image as a business-friendly place. That money will have been wasted without real tax reform. It’s time for everyone in Albany to stop talking about taxes and do something to improve our competitiveness,” he said.