A Washington-based think tank that looks at state business climates puts Missouri in the top one-third of them.   

The Tax Foundation bills itself as non-partisan although its critics say its pro-business.  Its business tax climate index looks at five kinds of taxes and ranks the states in each one.  Overall, Missouri comes out as having the 16th-most business-friendly climate. Only one of Missouri’s eight neighboring states does better.  Tennessee is 15th. None of the states is close to Missouri’s seventh-most favorable corporate tax rate. 

Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard says a broad-based tax policy is more attractive to business than states that offer tax incentives and subsidies.

The foundation says states should have a slim tax code that relies on a few well-structured taxes.  It criticizes its lowest-rated states for having “complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.”

Governor Nixon says the report shows Missouri has a “stable and competitive climate for businesses to grow and invest,”  although the organizaiton advocates elimination of corporate income taxes.  Nixon vetoed a bill this year that would have cut Missouri’s corporate income tax in half.

AUDIO: Drenkard interview