ON-Lion Letter
In September, the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., released its 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state's tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property, and unemployment insurance.  Wyoming once again takes first place with the most-competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintains its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.

This year's top 10 states are:  1.) Wyoming; 2.) South Dakota; 3.) Alaska; 4.) Florida; 5.) Nevada; 6.) Montana; 7.) New Hampshire; 8.) Indiana; 9.) Utah; and, 10.) Oregon.

The bottom 10 states are:  41.) Louisiana; 42.) Maryland; 43.) Connecticut; 44.) Rhode Island; 45.) Ohio; 46.) Minnesota; 47.) Vermont and the District of Columbia; 48.) California; 49.) New York; and, 50.) New Jersey.

Wisconsin is No. 39.

States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome, and economically harmful tax codes and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions.  A state's ranking can rise or fall significantly not only because of its own actions, but also because of reforms made in other states.

"Our goal with the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation between taxpayers and policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country," said Tax Foundation policy analyst Jared Walczak, one of its three co-authors.  "While there are many ways to show how much a state collects in taxes, the Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems, and to provide a roadmap for improvement."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the Tax Foundation.
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