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How Do Mpls. Business Taxes Compare On An Int’l Stage?

While the Twin Cities’ corporate tax structure is lower than those in many major cities throughout the world, it’s higher than those in major metros in places like Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

How Do Mpls. Business Taxes Compare On An Int’l Stage?
A recent study ranked Minneapolis as the 17th most tax-friendly major city for businesses throughout 10 of the most-developed countries in the world.
 
The report, conducted by international audit, tax, and advisory firm KPMG, compared the total tax burden that companies in 51 of the largest international cities face—including corporate income taxes, capital taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, miscellaneous local business taxes, and statutory labor costs.
 
KPMG compared cities in countries that it said would be of most interest to companies seeking to locate international business operations. It then ranked the largest cities in each country.
 
KPMG created a “total tax index,” which represents the total taxes paid by corporations in a particular location and industry, expressed as a percentage of total taxes paid by similar corporations in the U.S. “baseline” cities (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas-Fort Worth). Thus the United States has a total tax index of 100, which represents the benchmark against which the other countries and cities were scored.
 
Canada received the lowest index score overall (53.6), which meant that total tax costs in Canada are 46.4 percent lower than in the United States’ largest cities. Following Canada was the U.K. (66.6), Mexico (70.2), and the Netherlands (74.5). The five countries measured that have higher total tax costs than the United States were Australia (112.9), Germany (116.3), Japan (118.6), Italy (135.8), and France (163.3).
 
Only one U.S. city was among the top 10 lowest tax index scores among major cities: Cincinnati, which ranked seventh. The three lowest were all from Canada: Toronto (51.6), Vancouver (54.5), and Montreal (55.6). Following those were Manchester in the U.K., Monterrey and Mexico City in Mexico, Eindhoven and Twente Region in the Netherlands, and then London, which ranked 10th.
 
In addition to Cincinnati, the other U.S. cities with a lower tax index than Minneapolis included Cleveland, Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Charlotte, respectively. Minneapolis received a score of 88.1, which means its total business tax burden is 11.9 percent lower than the U.S. “baseline” cities.
 
The three U.S. cities included in the study with the heaviest business tax burden were New York City, San Francisco, and Kansas City, respectively. The two international cities with the heaviest burden were both in France: Marseille and Paris.
 
KPMG’s report also highlighted which cities offer the lowest tax burdens for businesses based on industry sectors, including digital services, research and development (R&D), corporate services, and manufacturing.
 
Minneapolis has the second-most favorable tax structure for R&D companies in the country with a score of 83.6, behind only Atlanta. However, when taking into account the major international cities, Minneapolis ranked ninth. Montreal was first in R&D with an index score of just 21.8.
 
A separate study, released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, recently projected the average annual economic growth rates of U.S. cities between 2013 and 2020.
 
The Twin Cities failed to make the top 10 largest metro areas with the highest projected GDP growth. The 10 highest were all in cities in the south and west regions of the country. The Austin, Texas area topped the list with a change of 4.4 percent; the Twin Cities change was 3.5 percent.
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