California, USA – Chaldeans in California grow worrisome as the state’s debt skyrockets. “They will tax the people to death in this state,” says Abrahim Bajoka, owner of an Arco Gas Station. “Tax! Tax! Tax! The more money they take from us the less we can grow, hire new people, or buy new products to sell. This is basic business. What is wrong with this state?”
Bajoka’s aggravation is not rare. Taxpayer groups in the “Fruit & Nut” state are also fuming and vowing to go to court to initiate a referendum to halt nearly $10 billion in recent tax increases Democrats passed in a secret special session last Thursday.
Lawmakers across the nation are shocked at the extraordinary parliamentary maneuver. California Democrats circumvented a constitutional provision requiring a two-thirds vote in the state legislature to raise taxes by using their simple majority. “What they are telling small business owners is that we don’t want you in our state,” says Bajoka. “The hard workers get taxed and the lazy get fed. This is all wrong.”
So which are the best low-tax states welcoming new business leaders and encouraging economic growth? Just follow the trail of Chaldeans….
Chaldeans are wisely picking the low tax states to expand their franchises or establish new businesses. Lower taxes gives businesses more cash to spend exploring new business ideas, product lines, marketing, and research. Kicking less money up to Uncle Sam also helps business owners better cope with changing estimations of expenses due to regulatory fuel and energy costs.
Bajoka says that whatever taxes a business is required to pay will simply be passed to the customers by increasing the cost of products. However, higher prices means less buying, which means less production and manufacturing or a slowing of the economy. “Customers will buy less. They can’t afford as much because government forces the prices to go up. This is not the time to raise taxes.”
Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge reported a study that shows Americans will spend more on taxes in 2008 than on food, clothing, and housing combined. The report went on to say that in 2008, Americans worked 74 days to pay their federal taxes and 39 days more to cover state and local levies.
Outside of leaving the country, the most one can do about Federal taxes is vote the right people into office. But the state and local tax burden varies considerably by location. The most expensive state and local taxes are typically sales and excise taxes (14 days' pay), property taxes (12 days' pay), and income tax (10 days' pay).
U.S. News cranked recently sifted through more than 2,000 U.S. places to find locales that have relatively low taxes but also offer amenities important to small business owners like a reasonable cost of living and fine recreational and cultural choices. Many of the low-tax havens have no state sales tax, like Billings, Mont., or no state income tax, like Sioux Falls, S.D.
There's nothing like zero tax to make your business dollar go further.
Chaldeans are well aware of one low-tax retirement gem, Stafford, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The place has been booming with new businesses because of the suburb’s move to entirely eliminate its property tax in 1995. Texas is also one of seven states with no income tax. (The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.) Stafford also has the lowest sales tax in the Houston area.
Chaldeans are also moving to Florida and Las Vegas. The business-friendly tax structure of the states has kept the states doing amazingly well in comparison to states like Michigan, Illinois, and California are drowning. Both Florida and Nevada have slashed government budgets instead of taking the short-term easy way out and tax residents and businesses.
There is one state the our native desert dwellers have yet to invade. The most tax-friendly state for businesses is Alaska. The geographically largest state in the union is the only one without any kind of income or sales tax and pays residents to live in their state.
Alaska residents with at least one year in the state receive annual Alaska Permanent Fund dividends. The state’s governor was able to secure an incredibly high payout for Alaskan residents of $3,269 in 2008, but even more typical dividends have been nothing to scoff at, ranging from $827 to $1,964 over the past two decades.
Who knows maybe Chaldeans will venture out into polar bear country? Michigan Chaldeans won’t have much of a problem dealing with the frigid winds, snowy roads, and icy car doors - not as long as they keep the tea warm.