Florida’s tax climate wasn’t the top attraction when SteriPack chose Lakeland for its first U.S. operations, but it was an added incentive.
“Taxes was one of the reasons,” said Tony Paolini, the Ireland-based company’s president.
“It was a good enough package combined with every other reason.”
A report from Tax Foundation ranked the Sunshine State’s tax climate No.5 of all 50 states. Above Florida, other states with a favorable tax climate were Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada and Alaska in the 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. New York, New Jersey and California, the report said, have a far less pleasant tax climate.
Tax Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan research organization that monitors fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels.
While a combination of several factors such as location, demographics and the labor pool influence a company’s decision to relocate or expand into a particular state, the tax environment plays a role.
The Central Florida Development Council, based in Bartow, trumpets the state’s favorable tax climate to lure businesses.
“Taxes are a huge issue for companies. I can tell you that businesses look heavily at taxes and the implication it has on a location decision,” said Rodney Carson, director of economic development at CFDC. “That is definitely something that we tout.”
Taxes, he said, are additional expenses a company incurs for operating its business. His organization has this year been helpful in drawing a number of new companies into Polk County, including SteriPack and Mission Foods.