Updated March 23 at 12:27pm

R.I. ranks 41st for small businesses


WASHINGTON – Rhode Island is one of the worst places to start a small business, according to a report by the Small Business & Enterpreneurship Council.

The report – “Business Tax Index 2012: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business” – was released last week and ranked Rhode Island 41st.

The report analyzed 18 different tax measures and combined those into one tax score, comparing the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Parameters included income tax, capital gains tax, property tax, death/inheritance tax, unemployment and various consumption-based taxes like state gas and diesel levies.

“All taxes matter, whether imposed at the federal, state or local level of government. They matter to consumers, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses,” SBE Chief Economist Raymond J. Keating said in prepared remarks.

“State and local levies matter in terms of a state’s competitiveness. And they matter when it comes to economic growth and job creation,” he added.

Rhode Island ranked 41st with a score of 49.077, faring better than Connecticut, Hawaii, Vermont, California, Maine, Iowa, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and the District of Columbia, which ranked 42nd to 51st, respectively.

Massachusetts ranked 35th with a score of 44.227. Comparatively, South Dakota ranked highest with a score of 11.813 and the District of Columbia scored 63.007.

The Ocean State ranked 28th for personal income tax rates, 30th for capital gains tax rates, 43rd for corporate income tax rates, 44th for corporate capital gains tax rates, 47th for property tax rates, 17th for sales and excise taxes and 42nd for adjusted unemployment taxes.

State gas taxes ranked 39th, diesel taxes ranked 41st and wireless taxes ranked 46th, across the county.

To view the whole report, visit: www.sbecouncil.org.


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Small Business


Monday, April 23, 2012 | Report this

Once again, PBN has parroted a special-interest group's claims without reporting any context or independent analysis. This is not the sort of journalism that I expect when paying an annual subscription fee.

A number of independent analysts could have told PBN and its readers what the Return On Investment is for those tax dollars -- i.e. what do businesses in different states receive for those taxes. Some states provide far more bang for the buck than others, in terms of healthy, well-educated, and productive workers; business infrastructure; and a regulatory framework that rewards businesses which invest back in their communities' futures while disciplining harmful misconduct.

I suspect that Rhode Island's ROI -- its use of tax dollars to foster overall prosperity -- is comparatively inefficient. But we'll never know, because PBN didn't consult with analysts who can provide broader context for this data.

Monday, April 23, 2012 | Report this

What we're left with, then, is a biased report which implies that any tax is a bad tax.

Monday, April 23, 2012 | Report this

Is there some concrete evidence that RI provides a higher ROI for its taxes?

"I suspect" shows you aren't even sure yourself.

Massachusetts offers far more to its residents in terms of services and stable property taxes.

Rhode Island's version of property tax stability is an absolute joke.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 | Report this
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