Colorado ranks 16th in state tax assessment

Colorado ranks 16th among the 50 states in the latest assessment of how taxes affect businesses.

Colorado moved up one spot in the State Business Tax Climate Index for 2012 and continues to fare well overall for its comparatively low corporate, income and property tax rates.

Compiled by the Tax Foundation — a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C., that monitors government fiscal policy — the index compares how state tax systems affect the business environment.

“Even in our global economy, a state’s stiffest and most direct competition often comes from other states,” said Mark Robyn, an economist at the Tax Foundation. “State lawmakers need to be aware of how their states’ business climates match up to their immediate neighbors and to other states in the region.”

Colorado has ranked among the top 17 states in the index for the past five years. The state ranked 13th in 2010 and 2009 after climbing to 10th in 2008.

The index ranks states based in large part on their corporate, income, property, sales and unemployment insurance tax rates.

Colorado ranked highest at ninth in the assessment of property taxes and 16th for individual income taxes. The state ranked 20th for its corporate tax rate and 23rd for unemployment insurance tax. The state fared worst at 44th for sales tax.

Wyoming remained the top-ranked state in the 2012 State Tax Climate Index, followed by South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska and Florida.

Many of the top-performing states in the index don’t impose a major form of taxes. Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada don’t assess corporate or individual income taxes. Alaska imposes no individual income or state sales taxes.

New Jersey remained at the bottom of the index, followed by New York, California, Vermont and Rhode Island.

The worst-performing states in the index impose comparatively high tax rates.