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New York ranks 49th in business tax climate in report

A Wall Street sign adjacent to the New

A Wall Street sign adjacent to the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 2, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Richard Drew

New York State's tax climate for businesses has improved from worst in the country to second-worst, a nonpartisan think tank said Tuesday.

The Tax Foundation in Washington ranked New York 49th among the 50 states because of high taxes on personal income, property and purchases. New York's best performance was in taxes on corporate income due to a reduction adopted in March by the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The foundation, in its report on taxes issued a year ago this month, ranked New York 50th. In this year's report, New Jersey had the worst tax climate, and California was 48th. Wyoming, which doesn't tax personal or corporate income, continued to top the list.

The report's authors, Scott Drenkard and Joseph Henchman, praised New York State leaders for a tax-cutting package included in the 2014-15 state budget that reduces the corporate income tax rate from 7.1 percent to the 1968 level of 6.5 percent and eliminates the capital stock tax and corporate alternative minimum tax, among others.

However, because the tax reductions are being implemented over several years, their impact on New York's latest ranking was muted. "Once fully phased in, the corporate tax component of the index is expected to improve to 4th place" from 20th, the authors said.

The improvement was touted by Cuomo, a Democrat, in last week's gubernatorial debate. His spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Cuomo's Republican challenger, Rob Astorino, said the report showed "New York is being left in the dust economically under Mr. Cuomo because our taxes and regulations make it prohibitive to do business here, and he has failed to address them."

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