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Those Texas taxes

Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

* From the Washington Monthly

(A)ccording to a joint study by the accounting firm Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation, in fiscal year 2012 state and local business taxes in California came to 4.5 percent of private-sector gross state product. This compares with a 4.8 percent average for all fifty states—and a rate of 5.2 percent in Texas. With the exception of New York, every major state in the country, including New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, has a lower total effective business tax rate than Texas. [Some emphasis added.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - BigBob - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    CNBC website has an article about job growth not following state tax cutting. Wisconsin job growth trails all neighboring states, including Illinois.

  2. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    How dare you, Miller, cast factual aspersions upon The Promised Land?

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    Everything really is bigger there.

  5. - Jimmy - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    I’m sure the Texans will blame illegal immigrants for their high business taxes.

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    Everything is bigger in Texas, including the egos and the lies.

  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 12:58 pm:


    That isn’t what the federal government says…

    Wisconsin 6.3% job growth since Feb 2010, Illinois 5.1%

    The also are doing better in initial jobless claims rate over the last 12 months.



  8. - Concerned - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    Sshhhhhh, don’t tell Gov. Perry. He is just starting to feel smarter with his glasses and if you confuse him with facts, he’ll say he’ll cut three things: taxes, government services and, oops, I forgot the third thing,

  9. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Perception is reality, even for business owners. Others do a better job creating a “business-friendly” environment. Indiana’s leaders have been masters of that, led by their big business community as cheerleaders for the state. Of course in some area we do lag. Just not as much as perceived in taxation.

  10. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    Quinn’s Tribune editorial had it right - lots of factors go into where businesses want to be. North Carolina’s boom, for example, is party attributable to a consistent and aggressive effort to improve their school system. But I’m not ready to say state taxes have no effect - Toyota didn’t relocate it’s California opperations to Texas for nothing and I suspect NY has some evidence that their program which gives relocating businesses big tax breaks is effective.

  11. - Modest proposal - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    I don’t think “taxes” are the problem in Illinois. The problem is the regulations. The cost of business is high, we have high unemployment insurance, high workers comp, the accessibility code, we are not a right to work state and numerous other barriers nickling and dining businesses. Our taxes have always been rather low, but that’s in combination with regulation. If you bring taxes up, then regulation has to come down to bring the state in balance. At least that’s my opinion.

  12. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    How can a high business tax rate possibly be compatible with robust job growth? It is contrary to conservative theory. While IL having a lower effective rate than TX is contrary to GOP fundamental belief.

  13. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Oneman, jobs does not really speak much about economic success or health. median household income is a much better marker. a State of minimium wage families is a burden, not an aid to a State, even if you have 100% employement.

    Wisconsin median household income 2012 = $51,059 1 year change -0.76%

    US median household income 2012 $51,371 1 year change -0.36%

    Illinois median Household income 2012 $55,137 1 year change +1.46%

    So the earning and spending power of a wisconsin family is below the US household median income, and has gone down at a greater rate then the US median income durin the start of the economic recovery.

    In Illinois the median houehold income is above the national average, and increased from 2011 - 2012 while nationaly median income declined.

    overall that means workers are better off in illinois as they are better paid. This transalets to greater economic activity and stability.

    Wisoncsin may be adding jobs, but the quality of life, earning power etc are going down. This suggest they are adding poverty level jobs. if the goal is to reach poverty first, Wisconsin is ahead.

  14. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    oops forgot my handle for the above

  15. - better days - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Illinois has the worst credit rating of all 50 states… 2nd most people leaving state.. 4th highest workman comp .. lowest job creation last year among 7 Mid west States..Illinois still broke after collecting a $$27 BILLION new TAX increase last 3 years

  16. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    I read the article, and I guess Rich just wanted to accent the negative perceptions about Texas.

    For example, Dems like to claim that Texas is creating only “low income jobs”, but the study debunks that myth. 45% of new Texas jobs since 2001 are in the top half of national salaries, and 25.6% job growth in the upper middle quarter of salaries occured in Texas, while new jobs in that category DECREASED by 4.1% in the rest of the country.

    An obvious bias was exposed in the article when the author criticized Texas for spending the 41st least amount in K-12 education, yet chose not to mention that national test scores from NAEP show that despite that “low” spending Texas students achieve at about average for the nation, despite having 16% low income students.

    Apparently spending effectively isn’t as important as spending large to the author.

    Finally, the article was curiously short in what it considered “business taxes”. Is workman’s comp a “tax” included in the study? How about “user fees” like the ones that drove the trucking industry out of Illinois? What about taxes on oil and gas production? Those tend to be higher than average business taxes, so is it a problem that the industry is carrying a bigger share of the state and local tax burden?

    Notice that they quote the “effective” tax burden. Is that an indication that tax rates are fairly enforced throughout businesses in Texas, unlike crony capitalist states like Illinois that give away huge tax deductions and breaks to the politically well connected?

    Bias aside, there WAS good info in the article. I suggest it as a good read.

  17. - A guy... - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    “has a lower total effective business tax rate than Texas.”

    These caveats will continue to get lost in the fog. People just won’t dig this deep for analysis.

  18. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    =In Illinois the median houehold income is above the national average, and increased from 2011 - 2012 while nationaly median income declined.overall that means workers are better off in illinois as they are better paid. This transalets to greater economic activity and stability.=

    Not necessarily true, anon. If a state loses massive numbers of lower half income jobs, the average goes up. It seems in Illinois our low income, low skilled workers have been hurt the most by our driving businesses away from Illinois through government mismanagement and corruption.

    Unlike you, I don’t think making low income workers unemployed and going on the dole to be a good thing. Why do you?

  19. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    So tired of people crapping on IL (which is mostly done for politcal reasons). Yes we have problems, but then again so does everyone else. I have been to some of these so called “Edens” like Texas. Needless to say I did not see paradise on earth. Don’t like IL? Work on improving it or move.

  20. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    To be fair, personal income tax rates are more important than business taxes, for a high proportion of small business owners.

    Very hard to factor those in when comparing burdens on businesses-plus-owners.

    (Sometimes a business is the same as the person who owns it, for some purposes — or so SCOTUS believes.)

  21. - Dan S - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Total Tax burden Ill 10.2%.
    Total tax burden Tx 7.5%.

    Here is a secret, businesses don’t pay taxes, they shift the cost to the customer.

  22. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    ===The problem is the regulations. The cost of business is high, we have high unemployment insurance, high workers comp, the accessibility code, we are not a right to work state and numerous other barriers nickling and dining businesses===

    Yea, those regulations should be relaxed. Just look at Indiana. I am sure ArcelorMittal is so worried about those pesky regulations, that only fined them $7000, when one of their workers was boiled to death.
    Lets not forget that most of these regulations are put into place to protect workers and the public. And the unions are a main force behind getting them passed. Putting business first is a nice catch phrase but I think putting lives first out weighs that.

    “ArcelorMittal fined over Indiana worker’s death”

  23. - walker - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Dans S: Here’s a secret: not always, not entirely. Businesses deal with higher costs in all kinds of different ways. Some will likely impact their prices to some extent.

    Sorry, but real world economics are never so simple as we sometimes like to believe and say. No disrespect meant. I do it too.

  24. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Yesterday I was saying that I look at states holistically, and Texas doesn’t measure up to many other states in ways I and others find important. It’s not just about jobs numbers.

    Here is another Obamacare study (linked in article) that just came out, showing that the number of uninsured dropped 5%, but there were significant drops in the number of uninsured in Medicare expansion states. Other states like Texas show very little dropoff in the number of uninsured.

    In the article, Texas is ranked at or near the bottom again by having a high number of uninsured.

    Again, Texas has reparative therapy and repeal of the Voting Rights Act in its GOP platform. Ugh!

  25. - Illiana - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    BigBob & OneMan,

    I think the main difference between your two stats are as follows:

    The sources that claim Wisconsin is creating fewer jobs than Illinois start the clock around when Walker became governor in January 2011. OneMan’s link started the clock in February 2010.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    “Other states like Texas show very little dropoff in the number of uninsured.”

    Correction: Texas did have a significant drop in the number of uninsured, but it could be from the federal marketplace. It’s still a high number compared with other states in the article.

    States who did expand Medicaid covered a significantly higher number of people than states who didn’t. This is a no-brainer, but still, more people are getting insurance thanks to Medicaid expansion. Many of those folks work and need coverage for themselves and their families. Many have illnesses.

  27. - olddog - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    If we’re going to compare Illinois to Texas — or Wisconsin — we may as well compare it to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Different political cultures.

    Speaking of Texas, Rolling Stone has an interesting story …

    I took it with a grain of salt, but it was an interesting read.

  28. - oz - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    So this proves that Chicago and Illinois tax break impunity to corporations in return for the promise of jobs DOES NOT WORK!

    Plain and simple.

  29. - Illiana - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Realistically, the state has such high debts that have to be paid, there probably isn’t much that can be done on the tax side. It would make more sense for people to look into what regulatory environment changes can do to help Illinois’s economy.

  30. - CirularFiringSquad - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Texas also has no fire code which helps the random development of those chemical plants that go boom.

  31. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    OneMan, your numbers do not reference the same period as Bobs. Not to mention, we don’t know if his numbers include public employees as well, or how they count part time employment. Statistics can demonstrate nearly anything you like. Also, not sure when Walker instituted his probusiness tax schemes, but I don’t think it corresponds exactly to your numbers. You’re not wrong. I’m just saying that just because you are right, doesn’t mean Bob is wrong.

  32. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    ==- Modest proposal - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 1:26 pm:==

    Whether there are too many or too few regulations, how regulations are imposed is a critical factor as well. Imagine being able to go to a “Business Regulations Office” and get things done in a day or two instead of many days going to a byzantine number of offices for a dizzying array of permits. The smoke filled room image of Chicago government does not help who don’t know how to play the game.

  33. - Anyone Rememer - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    Dan S.

    =Here is a secret, businesses don’t pay taxes, they shift the cost to the customer.=

    Even Milton Friedman didn’t believe that one. He said to get customers some businesses would pass on less than 100% of the increased costs.

  34. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    I’m curious about this Texas miracle. What I’ve read is that, as a percentage, job growth in California is the highest this and Texas ranks 8th. Still impressive, but California doesn’t exactly have a low tax business friendly image.

  35. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Nevermind. That study looked at the percentage change in the employment rate. Texas has an influx of people that are being employed, so while many more jobs are being added, the rate of employment isn’t necessarily rising more than a state losing residents.

  36. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 10, 14 @ 7:33 pm:


    Great analysis.

    With Respect,


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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