I live in New Jersey. It's a complete accident. When I got together with my wife, I was the one who owned a business and who could work from anywhere, so I moved here instead of our having her move to me.

Then we got married, started a family, bought a house. Next thing you know, here I am. If you're the boss, you can relate.

One result of having moved here almost randomly, however, is that I'm a sucker for studies suggesting that there are other places in the U.S. we should consider living.

Find me a ranking of the states by how polite the people there supposedly are, or how happy they are, or which ones report the highest average IQ scores, and I'll probably read it.

On Wednesday, I came across a state-by-state ranking that might have a bit more utility for people who launch businesses, want to grow them, and make a ton of money: the Kiplinger's ranking of all 50 states by tax-friendliness.

If you're considering a launch or an expansion, or you're thinking about where to move once you've sold your business -- or if you've recently gotten rich off an initial public offering and can pack up and go anywhere -- you might want to check this out.

There are some real surprises, namely that the list doesn't just start with "California, then Massachusetts, then New York, then everyone else."

Their methodology was to examine each state's income tax, property taxes, sales tax, fuel taxes, and "sin taxes," along with inheritance and wireless taxes.

Where taxes were income-dependent, they used a family of four with earned income of $150,000 as a model. 

Here are their results divided into quintiles and listed alphabetically within groups. You can find each state's breakdown here

1. Most Tax-Friendly

Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wyoming

2. Tax-Friendly

Alabama, California, Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia

3. Mixed

Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia

4. Not Tax-Friendly

Arkansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont

5. Least Tax-Friendly

Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin

Did they peg your state right? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Published on: Oct 3, 2019
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