New York State has the worst tax climate for businesses in the country -- for the second year in a row -- a nonpartisan think tank said Wednesday.
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, just like last year. Wyoming, which doesn't tax personal or corporate income, continued to have the best climate, the foundation said.
Scott Drenkard, a foundation economist and co-author of the 56-page tax report, said New York edged out New Jersey for last place because of income taxes on the wealthy.
In December 2011, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers reached agreement to replace an expiring tax surcharge on the rich with a new tax bracket for those earning more than $1 million. The new rate was lower than the surcharge, but higher than if no deal had been struck.
The same deal lowered tax rates for middle-income families and individuals.
Drenkard Wednesday also praised Cuomo's Oct. 2 appointment of a Tax Relief Commission: "New York has an opportunity to make beneficial reforms to its tax code this year."
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said since the governor was elected in 2010 more than 300,000 private-sector jobs have been created, the state's credit ratings have improved, taxes have been lowered for businesses and the state is "on secure fiscal footing. Objective examinations of New York's record by credible sources have reflected these facts."