Just when West Virginians were feeling
encouraged about the phaseout of some of the state's noncompetitive business taxes, out comes a fresh ranking - this one from consultant Anderson Economic Group.
The company ranked the states according to what percentage of businesses' operating margins the 50 states tax. Such information is naturally one of the factors businesses consider when deciding where to invest their money.
Companies paid more than $623 billion just in state and local taxes in 2011.
Alaska had the highest overall business taxes at 25.2 percent, and Delaware had the lowest at 5.1 percent in state and local taxes.
West Virginia was ranked fifth highest among the states for business taxes.
The state has committed to a gradual reduction of its corporate net income tax rates. That rate, currently at 7.75 percent, will drop to 7 percent July 1 assuming the state maintains adequate reserve funds.
The tax rate will drop to 6.5 percent next year if the state maintains its Rainy Day Fund requirements.
Such commitments are steps in the right direction, but West Virginians should not delude themselves.
We have a long way to go to be competitive.