Montana is improving in the tax rankings when compared to other states.

The Tax Foundation announced its 2022 tax study this week and Montana was in the top ten. Overall Montana ranks fifth, with Wyoming in first place, South Dakota in second, Alaska third, and Florida fourth.

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. The Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and provides a road map for improvement.

In the specific components Montana ranked 22nd in Corporate Tax Rank; 24th in Individual Income Tax Income; 3rd in Sales Tax Rank and 29th in unemployment tax.

Montana has an income tax rate of 6.75 percent while five states have no income taxes and three have only selective income taxes. Collection per capita of state and local individual income in Montana is $1119 which ranks it 24th. The state and local tax burden is 8.7 percent and ranks 38th.

Montana’s top corporate income tax rate is 6.75 percent. While the state has no sales tax there are specific sales taxes. Montana’s gas tax 32.75 cents ranking it 22nd. Cigarette tax rate is $1.70, ranking 23rd.

Montana’s property taxes is .76 percent ranking it 32nd. Per capita the state collects $1567 ranking it 22nd.

The absence of a major tax is a common factor among many of the top 10 states. Property taxes and unemployment insurance taxes are levied in every state, but there are several states that do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate income tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax. Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming have no corporate or individual income tax (though Nevada imposes gross receipts taxes); Alaska has no individual income or state-level sales tax; Florida and Tennessee have no individual income tax; and New Hampshire and Montana have no sales tax.

Rounding out the top ten states is New Hampshire Nevada, Tennessee, Indiana and Utah.

Among the ten lowest ranked states New Jersey is the worst and then New York followed by California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Arkansas, Vermont, Louisiana, and then Hawaii at 41st.

Neighboring states, Idaho ranked 17 and North Dakota, 19.

The states in the bottom 10 tend to have a number of afflictions in common: complex, nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates. New Jersey, for example, is hampered by some of the highest property tax burdens in the country, has the highest corporate income taxes and among the highest individual income taxes in the country, has a particularly aggressive treatment of international income, levies an inheritance tax, and maintains some of the nation’s worst-structured individual income taxes.

Americans were on the move in 2021, and they chose low-tax states over high-tax ones, according to the Tax Foundation. Montana was among the top in-migration states with an increase of 1.8 percent. Idaho increased 3.4 percent, while New York lost by -1.8 percent and California lost .8 percent.


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