Tennessee Ranked 15th On State Taxes

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The tax climate of Tennessee ranked 15th this year out of all 50 states, according to a new report by the Tax Foundation. The Volunteer State’s rank remains unchanged from 2013 the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index.

Several states have moved in the rankings since last year, with Texas dropping out of the top ten for the first time, landing at #11, and Virginia and Kentucky both falling three places to #26 and #27, respectively. On the positive side, Arizona climbed five ranks to #22 and Kansas shot up six spots to #20. Several other states also saw smaller changes.

“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,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “By contrast, the states that improved did so because they are moving closer to a tax code that collects revenue without unnecessarily distorting business decisions. Their tax codes became more neutral.”

The State Business Tax Climate Index, now in its 10th edition, collects data on over a hundred tax provisions for each state and synthesizes them into a single, easy-to-use score. The states are then compared against each other, so that each state’s ranking is relative to actual policies in place in other states around the country. A state’s ranking can rise or fall significantly based not just on its own actions, but on the changes or reforms made by other states.

The top ten states in 2014 are Wyoming (#1), South Dakota (#2), Nevada (#3), Alaska (#4), Florida (#5), Washington (#6), Montana (#7), New Hampshire (#8), Utah (#9), and Indiana (#10).

The 10 lowest ranked states in 2014 are Maryland (#41), Connecticut (#42), Wisconsin (#43), North Carolina (#44), Vermont (#45), Rhode Island (#46), Minnesota (#47), California (#48), New Jersey (#49), and New York (#50).

“The goal of the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation with policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country,” said Drenkard. “With this report, 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?’”

Tax Foundation Background Paper No. 68, “2014 State Business Tax Climate Index” by Scott Drenkard and Joseph Henchman is available online.

The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan research organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. To schedule an interview, please contact Communications Associate Richard Borean at 202 464-5120 or borean@taxfoundation.org


More Than $1.5 Million In Water And Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced that one community and one Utility District have been approved to receive more than $1.5 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements. “One of the ways we can continue to make our communities great places to live is ... (click for more)

Unclaimed Baggage Center Founder Doyle Owens Dies

Doyle Owens, who founded the Unclaimed Baggage Center, died  on Saturday  evening, Dec. 3, at the age of 85.   In 1970, Mr. Owens had the idea to get a $300 loan, borrow a pick-up truck, drive to Washington D.C., and buy a load of unclaimed luggage. He sold the contents from his purchase on card tables at a rent house in his hometown of Scottsboro, ... (click for more)

Valerie Bray Pleads Guilty In Death Of Well-Known Runner Cameron Bean

A long-time Moccasin Bend Hospital employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning in connection with the death of well-known runner Cameron Bean. Ms. Bray pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality involved. Defense attorney Bill Speek said she faces one-two years on each charge at a sentencing hearing on Feb. 1 at 1:30 ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)