Spin Control

WA ranked No. 6 for biz climate

Map of state business tax climate from the Tax Foundation (Map courtesy of the Tax Foundation)
Map of state business tax climate from the Tax Foundation (Map courtesy of the Tax Foundation)

Candidates trying to make points this year by decrying Washington as a terrible place to do business, take heed: One national organization rates Washington No. 6 for its "business tax climate."

That's sixth from the top, or best state (Wyoming), not sixth worst (New York).

The Tax Foundation, which also alerts us when we have passed the "tax freedom day" when we are no longer working for the government and the taxes levied upon us, gives Washington good marks. Which it usually does, because it gives high scores to states that don't have a personal income tax, a corporate tax or a sales tax. Because Washington doesn't have the first, even though it is near the bottom on the third, it gets a huge boost over, say, Idaho, which has all three and is No. 20 on the list.

Washington was No. 6 last year, also, and No. 8 the year before.

Of course, there is more to business climate to taxes, just as there is more to weather climate than temperature. Transportation, education and regulations all play into the mix. Unemployment remains  higher in Washington than the national average, so if you don't  have a job, something like the business tax climate is, at best, a secondary concern.

Still, this must be disconcerting to campaigns that are predicated at least in part on telling voters how bad the economy is, in order to get them to vote for or against someone or something.

Perhaps that's why the folks for Initiative 1185, a ballot measure to re-up the two-thirds majority for taxes, didn't send out a copy of a map showing Washington as No. 6 on the business tax climate list. Instead, they sent out a Tax Foundation map from last April, that showed Washington as among the later states to reach the tax freedom day.

That map can be found here.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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