Is high-tech business friendly?

Comparing business tax climate from state to state is a dicey proposition. Tax laws in each state are so different, sometimes a direct comparison is difficult. Today’s report that Minnesota has to hustle to close a “high-tech” jobs gap, however certainly invites some comparison of “business-friendly” climate vs. high-tech economic activity.

The Tax Foundation annually releases this map, which names the best and worst “business tax climate.” Minnesota annually appears as one of the 10 worst. 2011 is no exception. It comes in #43. Click the image for a larger version. The darker the color, the less business friendly, according to the Tax Foundation:


The Minnesota report on high-tech job growth uses data from the State New Economy Index.

Here’s the overall scorecard. The darker the state’s color, the higher the score:


There appears to be comparatively little association between “business friendly” and the overall score.

“Knowledge jobs” presents an even murkier picture. Several of the Tax Foundation’s “best” states for business appear in the top 10. But so do several of the “worst,” including Minnesota.


Ditto for jobs in information technology:


According to the report, issued in November, Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut “are the top five states at the forefront of the nation’s movement toward a global, innovation-based new economy. On the business-friendly survey, that’s #32, #11, #44, #48, and #47.

The bottom five states were unchanged from 2008. Mississippi and West Virginia have lagged most in making the transition to the New Economy, the report said. The other lowest-scoring states include, in reverse order, Arkansas, Alabama and Wyoming. On the business-friendly scale, in order, that’s #21, #37. #39. #28, and #3.