The Denver Post


- — Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post

Colorado businesses paid a lower share of revenues toward state and local taxes in 2016 than they did in 2015, according to an annual ranking of tax burdens put together by the Anderson Economic Group.

Colorado’s business tax burden, excluding federal taxes, went from 9.1 percent, or 25th among states, in 2015 to 8.2 percent, or 16th lowest, in 2016. That move lower was the biggest among U.S. states.

But that drop is probably temporary, given that it resulted from lower severance tax collection­s from oil and gas producers, and to a smaller degree from lower property taxes.

Lower oil prices contribute­d to a big drop in revenues and smaller tax payments. Prices have since rebounded, and assessment­s are again catching up to escalating property values.

Montana, Alaska and Wyoming — other states where natural resource extraction is an important part of the economy — also saw declines in their business tax burdens.

Businesses paid 40.3 percent of the tax revenues that state and local government­s collected nationally. Anderson looks at several categories of business-related taxes, including property, sales, corporate income, individual income, unemployme­nt compensati­on, license, and severance.

Oklahoma had the lowest state and local tax burden on businesses, at 6.6 percent, followed by Oregon, at 6.8 percent, and North Carolina, at 6.9 percent. North Dakota had the highest tax burden, at 14.6 percent, followed by Maine and Vermont, both of which were at 12.9 percent.

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