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Business tax climate better
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A national organization that rates states on business-friendly tax climates has ranked Georgia 20th in the U.S., a gain of two positions since a year ago.

The Tax Foundation has been in the business research and public education arena since 1937. Characteristics of good tax systems according to the Foundation, “levy low, flat rates on the broadest bases possible and treat all taxpayers the same.” The five areas of taxation measured are: individual income taxes, major business taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and property taxes.

At 20th, Georgia had the best tax score of all states in the Southeast except Florida which was 5th and Tennessee at 16th. Other rankings in those states that touch Georgia were: South Carolina 26th, North Carolina 30th and Alabama 21st.

Category breakouts
Corporate rates
Georgia was 6th nationally, the lowest in the Southeast. Florida was 14th, Alabama 21st, North Carolina 25th, South Carolina 11th, and Tennessee 12th.

Individual income taxes
Georgia was in the middle (24th) between states with no individual income taxes like Florida and Tennessee and ahead of other states like North Carolina at 44th and South Carolina at 27th. Alabama ranked 19th.

Sales taxes
Georgia ranked at the top in the Southeast at 16th, Alabama is 25th, Florida 19th, North Carolina 39th South Carolina 18th and Tennessee at 48th.

Unemployment insurance
Unemployment insurance was a weakness previously for Georgia but this year Georgia ranked 22nd. Other states do pretty well with Florida at second nationally, Alabama 12th, North Carolina at 6th but South Carolina was ranked at 43rd and Tennessee 31st.

Property taxes
Lastly, property taxes are Georgia’s lowest ranking at 33rd, although Georgia ranks ahead of North Carolina at 34th. Florida is 18th, Tennessee 31st, Alabama 12th and South Carolina is 29th. Since virtually all of property taxes are for local governments and schools, this is more reflective of the cost of doing business locally and not statewide.

Georgia improved over last year on unemployment insurance taxes from 29th to 22nd but dropped from 25th to 33rd in property taxes. Georgia also gained ground in sales tax climate from 19th last year to 16th this year.

Georgia has had a reputation as a great state in which to do business.  The rankings by the Tax Foundation prove the state continues to provide a climate conducive to business’s success. Business growth will continue to assure our state creates new jobs for Georgians.

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