What do California and Hawaii have in common aside from being sunny and beautiful vacation spots?

Flickr User Tax Credits

The national Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) 'Business Tax Index 2013: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business,' reveals those are the only two states with a tax system worse than New Jersey's.

The Index pulls together 21 different tax measures, and combines those into one tax score that allows the 50 states to be compared and ranked. Among the taxes included are income, capital gains, property, death/inheritance, unemployment, and various consumption-based taxes, including state gas and diesel levies.

10 Best

According to the "Business Tax Index 2013," the 10 best state tax systems are:

  1. Texas
  2. South Dakota
  3. Nevada
  4. Wyoming
  5. Washington
  6. Florida
  7. Alabama
  8. Colorado
  9. Ohio
  10. Alaska

10 Worst

According to the "Business Tax Index 2013," the 10 worst state tax systems are:

  • Connecticut
  • Oregon
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey
  • Hawaii
  • California

All Taxes Matter

The chief economist for SBE Council and author of the report, Ray Keating says taxes matter at every level government and 2013 was not a banner year in that area for small business owners.

"At the federal level, businesses, investors and entrepreneurship have been hit hard in 2013 by big tax increases, but taxes matter for business at the state and local level as well," explains Keating. "In the states, tax burdens vary widely, with competitiveness affected accordingly."

Competition for investment and business relocation is fierce says SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan and state leaders who understand this dynamic are reshaping tax policies to enable capital formation and entrepreneurship.

"State efforts directed at tax reform are pushing Congress to act," says Kerrigan. "The combination of state-based reforms and comprehensive tax reform at the federal level would provide a much needed boost to the U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem."

NJ Rankings Good And Bad

New Jersey actually ranks very well in several categories, but not enough to propel the state forward. A sampling of the rankings include:

  • Personal Income Tax 47th
  • Individual Capital Gains Tax 48th
  • Interest Tax Rate 47th
  • Corporate Tax 43rd (tie)
  • Property Tax 49th
  • Gas Tax 3rd
  • Diesel Tax 6th
  • State and Local Sales, Gross Receipts and Excise Tax 10th