The Tax Foundation, a non-profit conservative-leaning tax research group, is out today with its ranking of states most and least friendly to business. Gov. Chris Christie will be pleased to learn that New Jersey is no longer the most unfriendly for business-neighboring New York has stolen that honor.
"The lesson is simple: a state that raises sufficient revenue without one of the major taxes will, all things being equal, have an advantage over those states that levy every tax in the state tax collector's arsenal," the foundation said on its website.
Topping the list of the 10 best states for business:
Generally these states did best, by the foundation's reckoning, because they "do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax."
"Wyoming, Nevada, and South Dakota have no corporate or individual income tax; Alaska has no individual income or state-level sales tax; Florida has no individual income tax; and New Hampshire and Montana have no sales tax," the group notes.
The 10 lowest-ranked, or worst, states in in terms of business friendliness are:
New York landed at the bottom this year because of its higher individual income tax and near-worst unemployment insurance and property taxes.
Maine moved up the rankings because it repealed an alternative minimum tax. Michigan swapped out some business taxes and put in a flat 6 percent corporate income tax "that is largely free of special tax preferences," the group said, moving the state up in the rankings.
The 2013 index is a picture of each state's tax climate as of July 1, 2012.