A recent survey of 434 fast-growing companies conducted by accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand revealed some bad news on the tax front: for the majority of companies, state and local tax bills increased last year by a whopping 27.2% on average. How bad have conditions gotten for growing businesses? Nearly 20% of the companies surveyed said they avoided placing operations in some high-tax states. (California was the culprit most often cited.)

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How did 1995's state and local tax bills compare with 1994's?

Stayed the same 32%

Increased 58%

Decreased 7%

No response 3%

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Source: "Trendsetter Barometer," Coopers & Lybrand, New York City, April 1996.