By ranking the states on tried and true features of sound public finance, the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index helps the media, taxpayers, and policymakers to answer the question of how to best reform their tax systems to foster entrepreneurship and prosperity.
While our Index has helped several state tax reform efforts over its 14 editions, we still face shortcomings in ensuring our research, analysis, and advice make it into the hands of our core audiences—the media, taxpayers, and policymakers—at the right time.
We have identified three ways we will expand the program to better impact the policy debate: we plan to more directly engage taxpayers in the tax reform conversation using a variety of digital and traditional techniques, we plan to better inundate legislators and staff with our ranking and messaging on release day and as legislative sessions proceed, and we plan to make our experts more visible in television and radio media as resources.
With these expansions, we believe we can increase the long tail of our report coverage and its policy impact, giving the ranking a 365-day impact, exposing more legislators and taxpayers to our ideas and our experts, and ultimately, we feel we can materially improve at least five states' tax systems within three years.
All the lessons we learn from this effort will be shared with other free market organizations so that they can learn best practices from our experiment, as well as what works poorly.