Fifth-worst: Rhode Island
Top personal income tax rate: No. 28 at 5.99%
Top individual capital gains rate: No. 30 at 5.99%
Top corporate income tax rate: No. 43 (tie) at 9%
Top corporate capital gains rate: No. 9%
Gas tax: 33 cents
Wireless tax: 14.8 cents
Internet access tax: No
Rhode Island is a new addition to the list of five-worst states for small business, having knocked California off. Taking taxes and ancillary expenses into account, Rhode Island does not look appealing. High corporate income and corporate capital gains taxes, high property taxes, a state death tax, high gas and diesel taxes and high wireless taxes don't offset the lack of an AMT and a relatively low five-year increase in state and local spending.
The state also has higher-than-average state and local debt as compared with other states and a higher-than-average share of federal government funds as a share of total revenue.
Rhode Island's Gov. Lincoln Chafee talked about the need to confront the state's burgeoning municipal fiscal issues throughout his campaign in 2010. Since taking office he has "consistently stressed the need to help the state's cities and towns better serve Rhode Islanders," and that means small businesses too.