(This is an excerpt from my newest column for Dome Magazine. It was posted April 17.)
There was a time, not that many years ago, when Michigan was labeled endlessly as a “high-tax state,” a territory that companies avoided due to what the chambers of commerce refer to as a bad business climate.
Yet, as hard as it is to believe for those who’ve spent the past week punching calculator buttons and wearing out erasers, this is the reality: Those days are gone.
Michigan now sits in the middle of the pack, a slightly better than average state based on overall tax burden, with some of the nation’s best rankings on business taxes.
The gold standard in state-by-state tax analysis was established decades ago by the Tax Foundation, a center-right research group based in Washington. The foundation’s unique way of rating each state revolves around their so-called Tax Freedom Day, a date that represents when each state’s average taxpayer has earned enough income to pay off all their federal, state and local taxes for the year.
Today, April 17, marks Tax Freedom Day in Michigan. That puts us 21st on the list of 50 states. Our corporate taxes rank 10th best, according to the Tax Foundation, the state income tax is 12th and the “Business Tax Climate Index” is 13th.
Other studies produced similar results. One research group, the American Economic Development Institute, placed Michigan’s business climate at No. 2 among the most populous states, ahead of competitors such as Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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