Group: NY has U.S.'s worst business tax climate

The Tax Foundation in Washington ranked New York

The Tax Foundation in Washington ranked New York last among the 50 states because of high taxes to fund unemployment insurance and on personal income and property. (Credit: iStock)

New York State has the worst tax climate for businesses in the country, a nonpartisan think tank said Tuesday.

The Tax Foundation in Washington ranked New York last among the 50 states because of high taxes to fund unemployment insurance and on personal income and property.

New Jersey and California were near the bottom as well. Wyoming, which doesn't tax personal income or corporate incomes, had the best climate.

Foundation executives Scott Drenkard and Joseph Henchman Tuesday blamed New York's last-place showing on a December 2011 deal between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers that raised taxes on the wealthy. The deal replaced an expiring income tax surcharge with a new tax bracket for those earning more than $1 million. The new rate is lower than the surcharge, but higher than if no deal had been struck.

Austin Shafran, a spokesman for Empire State Development Corp., said, "When he took office, Governor Cuomo recognized that taxes on New York's residents and businesses were far too high, which is why he enacted the state's first-ever property tax cap, established the lowest tax rate for the middle class in 58 years and brought state spending under control."

The Business Council of New York State and union-backed Fiscal Policy Institute disparaged the tax study, with the latter sayingsaid New York's economy had outperformed those of states with the lowest taxes.

Last year, New York placed 49th in the foundation study and has lost ground for two years.

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