They say California isn't business-friendly. But our massive wealth, including a top-five world ranking in the number of billionaires, and our signature industries, including Hollywood and Silicon Valley, might say otherwise.
Still, when all is said and done, the stereotype seems true in part. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation this week revealed its annual State Business Tax Climate Index. The Golden State came in almost last place. Really:
Although our corporate taxes weren't so bad, ranking 31st under the Foundation's criteria, our personal income tax actually placed California dead last. That brought down our ranking to 48th worst state business tax climate in America.
Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard:
The goal of the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation with policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country. With this report, we're asking: 'How well is your tax code structured? Are businesses in your state spending too much time complying with onerous tax provisions? Are you double-taxing things you shouldn't?'
Guess we are.
The organization says a poor business tax climate can correlate to real job losses in places like California:
In 2005, California-based Intel decided to build a multibillion-dollar chip-making facility in Arizona due to its favorable corporate income tax system.
The top tax-climate state was Wyoming, followed by South Dakota and Nevada.
Of course, they have to have low business taxes if they have any hope of getting someone to want to move to there.