The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Businesses


The 10 least business-friendly states in 2017 have earned this designation because of their complex tax codes and high tax rates, according to the Tax Foundation.

Earlier this month, we reported on the 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Business. Veterinary practice owners have certain advantages in these states, which earned high marks from the Tax Foundation, a politically independent organization that has been researching and analyzing tax policy since 1937.

The Tax Foundation comes up with an annual index of the most and least business-friendly states in the country. The top 10 had one thing in common: each has eliminated one or more of the major taxes, which, according to the foundation, are corporate income, individual income, and sales tax.

Unfortunately, practice owners in the states at the bottom of the list aren’t so lucky. These states offer complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates. New Jersey, the foundation points out as an example, is one of two states that charges an inheritance tax in addition to an estate tax.

Here’s where the bottom 10 states rank.

41. Louisiana

  • The Tax Foundation notes that Louisiana recently hiked its state sales tax by a penny, bringing the state rate from 4% to 5%.
  • Louisiana is one of the 5 states with the lowest property tax burden, according to WalletHub.

42. Maryland

  • In 2010, global security company Northrup Grumman relocated from Virginia to Maryland, citing the more favorable business tax climate as its reason, according to the Tax Foundation.
  • Maryland was the second most charitable state in 2015, according to WalletHub.

43. Connecticut

  • The Tax Foundation notes that General Electric and Aetna threatened to leave the state in 2015 if the governor approved a budget that raised corporate taxes. GE made good on its threat when the governor did just that.
  • Connecticut ranks among WalletHub’s seven worst states for retirement.

44. Rhode Island

  • The tax structure of this tiny state isn’t just unfriendly to business. Rhode Island also made WalletHub’s ranking as one of the seven worst states for retirement.

45. Ohio

  • The Tax Foundation notes that states like Ohio need to be concerned about the tax climate of their immediate neighbors, which can lure businesses away.

46. Minnesota

  • This state may leave much to be desired with regard to its business tax climate, but Minnesota does rank among America’s 10 happiest states, according to WalletHub.

47. Vermont

  • Vermont is not hospitable to businesses, the foundation says, and it’s also not a great place to retire, according to WalletHub.

48. California

  • Intel built a chip-making facility in Arizona instead of California in 2005. The reason? The tax climate in Arizona. The state has a more favorable corporate income tax system than California, the foundation says.
  • California is also among the 8 states with the highest healthcare costs.

49. New York

  • New York has climbed in the rankings over the past two years due to corporate tax reforms, the Tax Foundation notes.

50. New Jersey

  • With high property taxes—plus the double-whammy of an inheritance tax and an estate tax—New Jersey claims the bottom spot, according to the Tax Foundation.
  • It also made the list of the worst states for retirement.

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