I’ve heard an interesting statistic TWICE over the last several months (one from a public official, and one from a lobbyist/academician):
That when you stack up Virginia with all of the other States from a “tax burden” standpoint, that Virginia is 47th out of 50. This means that there are only 3 states that are more “tax-friendly.” Isn’t that great? My being a fiscal conservative lends me to believe that’s a good thing. So I would call that a number 4 ranking not a 47.
There’s only one problem: It isn’t true. We do have a RELATIVELY friendly state for taxes, especially business taxes. But 4th ranked we are not. On individual taxes we usually rank (rank as in most “tax-friendly”) somewhere among the top 15-20, and on business taxes we were ranked number 8 for 2006. We’re in the top half, but one thing strike me as odd: Why would someone tout this statistic as a rationalization for RAISING taxes without any acknowledgment or analysis of whether there is indeed a connection between a higher tax burden and “better” government.
A few links on the subject:
The real good news for business owners: I did hear (from another public official) that we were the HIGHEST ranked State (according to Forbes) from an overall “Business Friendliness” standpoint. Guess what? That one was true: