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Wyoming earns top marks for its business tax climate

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Wyoming is the top state for its small business tax climate, according to a new ranking from the Tax Foundation. 

The ranking measured states based on five components: individual income taxes, sales taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes, and unemployment insurance taxes. Individual income tax rates received the heaviest weight, although the think tank added that “a small change in one state’s law could change its component ranking dramatically.”

Overall, Wyoming took home top honors for its corporate tax and individual income tax rates because neither one exists in the state’s tax code.

The Cowboy State also ranked sixth for its sales tax rate, which stands at 4 percent, but it ranked in the bottom half of states for its property tax (No. 35) and unemployment insurance tax rates (No. 31). 

Wyoming assesses both residential and commercial property at a 9.5 percent rate, according to data from the state Department of Revenue. 

Meanwhile, Wyoming’s unemployment insurance tax rate was increased on January 1 to a range of 0.48 percent to 9.78 percent, according to the Department of Workforce Services. 

Tony Gagliardi, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business advocacy group, told The Center Square that Wyoming’s ranking could be “short lived” if state lawmakers become “careless with the desire for higher revenues.”

Gagliardi noted that the state’s Joint Revenue Committee, a bipartisan group of lawmakers that writes the state’s fiscal policies, is considering introducing tax-related proposals including a gross receipts tax, corporate income tax, and increasing the state's fuel tax.

Wyoming has among the lowest overall state and local tax burdens at 7 percent, according to another Tax Foundation report.