Kentucky Holds Steady in Small Business Tax Rate Rankings

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The small business tax rate evaluation, which scrutinized tax data across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, placed the Bluegrass State at 26th place nationwide.

Kentucky Holds Steady in Small Business Tax Rate Rankings
Kentucky Holds Steady in Small Business Tax Rate Rankings ( Photo: The Center Square )

A recent study by SimplifyLLC, a resource for small business operations, has positioned Kentucky squarely in the middle of the small business tax rate spectrum

The small business tax rate study’s assessment focused on five pivotal tax categories, the corporate, personal income, sales, property, and unemployment. Notably, the rankings suggest that Kentucky‘s Republican-led General Assembly may be steering the state in the right direction with potential plans to eliminate the small business tax rate. It’s worth highlighting that the top-performing states in SimplifyLLC’s analysis Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, and Texas do not impose corporate or personal income taxes.

In 2022, Kentucky legislators, overriding Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto, passed a law enabling a half-percentage point reduction in personal income tax contingent on specific economic benchmarks. This year saw a reduction from 5% to 4.5%, and a 4% small business tax rate is slated for the next fiscal year. Nonetheless, state financial authorities have informed lawmakers that the criteria for the 2022-23 fiscal year did not warrant a reduction to 3.5% in 2025.

Kentucky boasts one of the nation’s highest maximum tax rates for unemployment insurance, with only 12 states surpassing its 9%

The state fares better in sales taxes, ranking 38th nationally with a fixed 6% small business tax rate, which excludes additional local tax policy currently under discussion. Among neighboring states, Missouri and Ohio secured the 8th and 9th positions, while Tennessee and Indiana landed at 18th and 19th. Virginia claimed 32nd place, followed by West Virginia at 34th, and Illinois at 42nd. In this assessment, Nevada emerged as the leader, while New Jersey lagged behind, primarily due to its high rates in property, sales, corporate, and income taxes.


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