Last week, the Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy research organization, released its 2017 State Business Tax Climate Index.  The annual report, which is intended to show how well states structure their tax systems and provide a roadmap for improvement, finds New York State with the second worst ranking in the nation.

The group’s rankings are based on each state’s individual income tax; sales taxes; corporate income tax; property tax; and unemployment insurance tax. New York’s low ranking is due to our high level of taxes in most of these categories, especially property taxes.  With the state’s recent reforms of our corporate tax structure being phased in, it is likely that our ranking will improve somewhat in future Tax Foundation rankings.

But while New York state has made some progress has been made to control property taxes and ease corporate taxes, this report clearly shows that 48 other states offer better opportunity for employers and job seekers. If we want to build a strong economy, then we need to transition from a strategy that relies on generous subsidies and tax incentives and move toward making New York a place where businesses can afford to invest.

Unshackle Upstate executive director Greg Biryla commented on this latest poor ranking:

“The Tax Foundation has released its annual State Business Tax Climate Index and the results are troubling and frustrating.

New York State has the second-worst business tax climate in the nation. That’s simply unacceptable. If a well-respected research organization published a report that had similar findings about our educational or health care systems, the outcry would be deafening and Albany would go to great lengths to address the situation.

Yet when it comes to improving New York State’s business climate, our elected leaders have fallen far short of the public’s expectations. While some progress has been made to control property taxes and ease corporate taxes, this report clearly shows that 48 other states offer better opportunity for employers and job seekers. If we want to build a strong economy, then we need to transition from a strategy that relies on generous subsidies and tax incentives and move toward making New York a place where businesses can afford to invest.

To compete with other states and attract employers that create good paying jobs, our leaders in Albany must take bold steps – not baby steps. The solutions are well-known but as we’ve seen year after year, the political will is lacking.”