(To view the interactive U.S. map with each state ranking, please click here.)
Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for SBE Council and author of the report, said: "While 'Tax Day' 2012 is officially April 17, it is critical to understand that federal, state and local taxes are a burden on entrepreneurs, investors and the economy throughout the year."
Keating added: "All taxes matter, whether imposed at the federal, state or local level of government. They matter to consumers, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses. State and local levies matter in terms of a state's competitiveness. And they matter when it comes to economic growth and job creation."
SBE Council's "Business Tax Index 2012" pulls together 18 different tax measures, and combines those into one tax score that allows the 50 states and District of Columbia to be compared. Among the taxes included are income, capital gains, property, death/inheritance, unemployment, and various consumption-based taxes, including state gas and diesel levies.
According to the "Business Tax Index 2012," the 15 best tax systems are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Texas, 3) Nevada, 4) Wyoming, 5) Washington, 6) Florida, 7) Alaska, 8)Alabama, 9) Ohio, 10) Colorado, 11) Mississippi, 12) Michigan, 13) South Carolina, 14) Tennessee, and 15) Missouri.
The 15 worst state tax systems are: 37) Nebraska, 38) North Carolina, 39) Illinois, 40) Oregon, 41) Rhode Island, 42) Connecticut, 43) Hawaii, 44) Vermont, 45) California, 46) Maine, 47) Iowa, 48) New York, 49) New Jersey, 50) Minnesota, and 51) District of Columbia.
In terms of recent policy changes, it's worth noting that some states have made steps forward on providing some tax relief, such as Indiana, Arizona, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Delaware, Oklahoma, along with Ohio. In contrast, other policymakers worked against entrepreneurship by making state taxes less competitive, such as Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois and New York.