Metro 50: State Tax Environment

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s publication series Metro 50 Buffalo Niagara is a factsheet-style resource that evaluates Buffalo Niagara’s performance in topical areas related to economic development. Metro 50 takes a look at the progress of other peer metros – regions similar to ours in population, resources and economic challenges – and compares their progress to our own. This gives context to the performance of Buffalo Niagara and offers us the opportunity to learn from their best practices.

The third installment of the series explores the tax burden in the states in which Buffalo Niagara’s peer metropolitan areas are located. Here in New York, the Buffalo Niagara metro is situated in the state with the 49th worst business tax climate in the nation since 2015.

Here’s how our region stacks up in comparison to peer metros:

  • Worst state tax climate of any of the peer metros
  • Second worst state property tax rank among peer metros
  • Third worst state unemployment insurance tax rank among peer metros
  • Fourth worst state sales tax rank among peer metros

To ensure the continued revitalization of our area, it is crucial that we create a more competitive cost structure for businesses to spur growth and investment. Employers in the Buffalo Niagara region operate in one of the most highly taxed and overly regulated economic environments in the United States.

While our corporate tax rank is generally favorable (7th lowest in the country), other cost considerations make it difficult for businesses to grow in our region. Additionally, businesses considering relocating to our region will consider the tax climate a significant hurdle. Without real reform, this reality will continue to significantly stifle the region’s competitiveness despite local economic development progress.

This installment of Metro 50 serves as an important reminder that our region’s economic progress requires continued efforts to reduce the regulatory and tax burden on employers.

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