Jobs vs. Government: Top 5 vs. Worst 5 States for Living

Craig HueyTaxation 3 Comments

Jobs and higher wages are easier to come by in some states than others … and entrepreneurs and business owners are able to grow their companies more easily and successfully in some states than in others.

If you’re thinking about starting a new business, or if you’re wanting more and better job opportunities, consider moving to Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida or Nevada…

Definitely avoid New Jersey, New York, California, Vermont, Washington D.C. and Minnesota.

I own a business in California. I started it 40 years ago … but with today’s high taxes and regulatory nightmare, I probably wouldn’t make it if I were just now starting out…

Every year the Tax Foundation compiles a State Business Tax Climate Index – an indicator of how business-friendly each of the 50 states was during the previous year.

The index ranks the states in 5 areas of taxation that affect business:

  • Corporate tax
  • Individual income tax
  • Sales tax
  • Unemployment insurance tax
  • Residential and commercial property taxes

The compilation – a decimal number between 1 and 10 – is a measure of how each state’s tax laws affect economic performance.

The higher the number, the better the business climate.

In the 2018 Index, Wyoming ranked 1st in business climate by a wide margin with a score of 7.82.

On the other end of the scale, New Jersey had the worst business climate with a score of 3.35.

Accompanying Wyoming in the top 5:

  • South Dakota
  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada

None of these states have individual income taxes.

The other states with no personal income tax – Texas and Washington – ranked 13th and 17th overall, respectively.

The next 4 states – in order – with the worst business climates after New Jersey:

  • New York
  • California
  • Vermont and District of Columbia (tied for 4th worst)
  • Minnesota

Ohio is close behind in 45th place – the 6th worst business climate.

Other tax information of note:

  • Delaware has the lowest sales tax … Louisiana the highest
  • New Mexico has the lowest property taxes … New Jersey the highest

In 2017, South Dakota, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Vermont saw the most inbound migration from other states. The highest outbound migration occurred in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Illinois and Kansas.


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Comments 3

  1. I also work in a CA business. One of our clients just told us that she had to discontinue our services because she was closing her business. She didn’t state why she was closing, but I’d bet it is the same reason many businesses have a rough go of it here: taxes and regulations.

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