Chief Executive Magazine Canvased CEOs across the U.S. to Create its 11th Annual Ranking
Texas came in at the top of the list of “Best States for Business,” retaining its 2014 title. At the bottom in the eyes of CEOs is California, also retaining its 2014 spot.
CEOs were asked to rank states they were familiar with on three categories: taxes and regulations, quality of the workforce, and living environment. “CEOs favor states that foster growth through progressive business development programs, low taxes and a quality living environment,” according to the magazine’s latest survey of 511 CEOs across the U.S.
The states that ranked most attractive and least attractive for business were:
Top 5 States
- North Carolina
Bottom 5 States
- New Jersey
- New York
“One of the biggest factors in CEOs’ thinking is the attitude that local and state authorities have toward business and the perceived capriciousness of regulations, particularly those imposed on smaller firms least able to bear the costs. … Following California and New York, business leaders see Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut as the worst places, largely due to the perception that they are high-tax and overregulated environments,” the magazine reported.
The article cited a relocation specialist who counted more than 200 companies with tens of thousands of employees that have left the Golden State over the last four years. The magazine credited its climate and its excellent university system as the primary factors keeping companies in California.
“Texas continues its economic miracle,” the magazine reported. “Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs were created in the other 49 states combined.”
The fact that most CEOs highly value low taxes and target a business environment that promotes growth are factors that are not lost on business-friendly, growth-oriented governors. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said it best in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: “In Ohio, we’re in a contest against Europe, Asia and the rest of the world, so we have to keep our taxes low.”
In exclusive interviews with Oil & Gas 360®, the governors of Wyoming (CEOs rank: 17), Colorado (CEOs rank: 11), Alaska (CEOs rank: 34) and Utah (CEOs rank: 15) talked about their states’ strategies to encourage investment and job growth from the oil and gas industry.
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