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California finished better than just three states in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s (SBEC) Business Tax Index for 2009. The SBEC annually assesses the tax climates for business and entrepreneurs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

The only ones ranking lower than California: Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

The index includes rankings of the top personal income tax rates in each state (California is 51st at 10.55%) and the top individual capital gains tax rates (51st at 10.55%).

Also rated are the top corporate income tax rates (California placed 42nd at 8.8%), top corporate capital gains tax rates (43rd at 8.8%) and sales, gross receipts and excise taxes as a share of personal income (26th at 3.36%).

Other factors include unemployment tax rates as a share of state average pay (California ranked first at 0.72%), state gas taxes (49th at 35.3 cents per gallon) and diesel taxes (46th at 39.2 cents per gallon).

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