Kentucky slips to 27th in business tax rankings

jpatton1@herald-leader.comOctober 9, 2013 

Kentucky fell three places, from 24th to 27th, in annual rankings on the best and worst states for taxes on business released Wednesday by the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Wyoming, Florida, and Indiana ranked among the best states for taxes on business, and New York, New Jersey and California were ranked worst.

The non-partisan research organization has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937.

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

Kentucky ranked 27th in corporate taxes, 29th in individual taxes, 10th in sales taxes, 48th in unemployment insurance taxes, and 17th in property taxes, according to the foundation.

Kentucky's overall scores on the individual components didn't change much but other states' did, said Lyman Stone, an economist at the Tax Foundation.

"Kentucky dropped by standing still," Stone said. "The fact that Kentucky made no improvements while quite a few others did is why the state dropped."

Indiana, which has made several tax changes in recent years, cracked the top 10 for the first time. Kansas and Arizona, which were below Kentucky last year, leaped ahead — Kansas by implementing overall tax reforms and Arizona by lowering its sales taxes, Stone said.

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: janetpattonhl

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