Small businesses play a vital role in job creation and economic growth, and previous studies have noted that higher state tax rates may reduce entrepreneurial activity, growth, and hiring. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
In this paper, the authors use a 1989-2005 panel of state-level data to explore the effects of state income tax reciprocity agreements on several measures of small business activity. Since a reciprocity agreement exempts non-resident income from a state's personal income tax base, it has the potential to reduce barriers to entrepreneurial activity and lower tax compliance costs.
The results indicate that reciprocity agreements appear to have reduced the tax-rate sensitivity of entrepreneurial activity, which may lead to more small business and entrepreneurial activity in states with more active agreements, other factors constant. This suggests that personal income tax reciprocity agreements may be a credible policy tool to expand small business activity.
In this study, the paper sets out to determine if small business and entrepreneurial activity is greater in states that have reciprocity agreements and if such activity is dependent on the number of active agreements in place. Given recent nationwide efforts to ease compliance costs for business through other initiatives such as the Telecommuter Tax Fairness Act and the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, this study is the first to quantify how decreasing tax compliance and eliminating barriers to labor mobility affects small business activity. The results therefore have the potential to help shape debates in many states today.
The authors thank Kara Smith Mitchell for expert research assistance and John Deskins for providing some of the regression data.
Bruce, D., C. Rork, J. and Wagner, G. (2014), "State income tax reciprocity agreements and small businesses", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 118-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-07-2012-0037Download as .RIS
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