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Taxes
Top personal income tax rate:9%
Top corporate income tax rate:9.98%
Energy costs
Electricity:9.09 cents/kilowatthour
Gas (avg. price/gallon):$2.27
Labor
Minimum wage:$7/hour
1. Washington, D.C.
Rank: 51
Index score: 75.42

Washington, D.C., rates lowest on this year's list, due to high personal and corporate income, sales and capital gains taxes, as well as a high minimum wage and crime rate. Nevertheless, the city is undergoing "a renaissance of sorts," says Karen Kerrigan, CEO and president of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C. More business-development efforts and private-public partnerships are taking place, more people are moving into the city, and the environment for startups has eased, "though once in, the burdens are still pretty heavy," she says.
* SBE Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit which advocates for reduced government taxes and regulations on small business, tends to lobby for the Republican agenda when it comes to taxes and regulations.
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