Kentucky continues to rank in the middle-of-the-pack when it comes to having a business-friendly tax climate. The 2014 study, released Wednesday by the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington takes into account the corporate tax rate, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax and property tax rate.
Kentucky’s ranking dropped from 24th in the nation last year to 27th this year. The study finds Kentucky’s tax code didn’t change that much, but the ranking reflects changes in states with similar numbers.
Meantime, Indiana ranked 10th in the nation for best business tax climate – earning high marks for low property taxes. Tennessee ranked 15th thanks in part of a low individual income tax.
The state unemployment rate declined slightly in August despite significant job losses in some key labor market sectors.
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reported Thursday that the rate fell to 8.4 percent, down from 8.5 percent in July.
State economist Manoj Shanker said the trade, transportation and utilities sector shed 2,100 jobs in August. The financial services sector lost 700 jobs. The government sector fell by 500 positions. The information sector, which includes newspapers, lost another 500 workers. And the mining and logging sector declined by another 100.
Kentucky budget officials say they are paying close attention to revenue as the state budget sees a flat growth at the start of the fiscal year. Budget director Mary Lassiter says in her monthly briefing that August revenues ticked up, helping make up 2 percent of losses in July. But that leaves revenues flat, while forecasters had expected an almost 3 percent growth this year.