RI Ranked as One of Country's Worst for 2013 Business Tax Climate

According to a report published this week, Rhode Island has one of the worst tax climates for business in the country.

According to a report published on Tuesday by the Tax Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan tax research organization based in Washington, D.C.,  Rhode Island ranks as one of the least business friendly states in the country.

Specifically, Rhode Island placed 46 out of 50, beating only Vermont, California, New Jersey and New York, which was ranked as the worst business friendly state in the country.

"Even in our global economy, a state’s strongest and most immediate competition often comes from other states,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “State lawmakers need to be aware of how their states’ business climates match up to their immediate neighbors and to other states in their region.”

Rhode Island maintains a nine percent flat corporate tax rate, which the foundation claims is the sixth highest nationally.

For personal income taxes, Rhode Island scores even worse.  The personal income tax top rate of 5.99 percent is the third highest nationally, according to the organization.  

To put it in perspective, last year Rhode Island taxpayers worked until April 15 to pay their total tax bill.

Some say it’s a tough call: Should local lawmakers lower corporate tax rates to encourage new businesses and jobs?  Or do you think we should encourage and promote companies in other ways so we can collect the tax revenue to support services? 

TheOneCalledZed October 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I am not sure who exactly the "Tax Foundation" is, but I suspect they were not set up to encourage taxation, nor do I know what their standards are for "good" or "bad". I do know that, given how many businesses grow up in, or are attracted to, our companion states at the "worst" end of their list, namely CA, NY, and NJ, L'i'l Rhody can't be all that bad. (And I am speaking as an entrepreneur who started and owned successful businesses in RI for over 30 years, taxes and all.)
Will Museler October 12, 2012 at 09:31 PM
We send the same State Reps
Will Museler October 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM
We send the same State Reps & Senators back every year and are surprised by this?
Paul Silver October 13, 2012 at 02:11 PM
To some extent I agree with the One Called Zed... some of the best states are also at the bottom with us... why ? Perhaps it is not tax related... or not all tax related... sure lower taxes would be better, but there must be other things that could be done to entice business here... Not sure if some of the issue stems from attitude issues, such as thinking that Newport is such a destination and such a great place to live that all would drop everything and move there despite high tax rates... and I have heard that said by Chamber folks, and even a past EDC guy... not a good approach in my view...
Tuna man October 14, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Rhode Island has been ranked at the bottom for many years by a number of different groups and it always comes out the same. Business doesn't want to come here because the state is not open to them. Look what happened with the movie industry. The state lowered it's tax rate for them and now there are a couple of movies each year being filmed here pumping millions into the economy. Maybe the state should really step back and realize that lower taxes means more companies come here and employee more people who in turn pat more taxes to the state and the state has more income then before. But be aware the idiots in the state house are already setting their sights on enhanced income for the expanded casino's that may at first bring in some more funds to the state till the ones in Mass open up and then it's a down hill slide from there. Then we will see our taxes go up again and again to make up for the shortfall that will cause. Just like last time. I for one am looking to move out of this state as it's not going to get any better anytime soon or later for that matter.


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