The Empire State is next to last — just above California — in a new ranking by corporate chief executive officers of “Best and Worst States for Business.”

us-states-400x282-9606743
Chief Executive magazine graphic

Chief Executive magazine based its ranking on a poll of 556 CEOs using criteria including taxes and regulations, workforce quality and living environment. As explained in the article’s Methodology section, “In most companies, the CEO makes the ultimate decisions about where to locate and/or expand the business, making his or her perceptions of each state critically important.”

New York’s ranking largely reflected negative CEO impressions about its tax and regulatory environment–a negative that also has dragged down the state in other regular rankings of state business climates.

From the main article in Chief Executive:

Not surprisingly, states with punitive tax and regulatory regimes are punished with lower rankings, and this can offset even positive scores on quality of living environment. While state incentives are always welcome, what CEOs often seek are areas with consistent policies and regulations that allow them to plan, as well as intangible factors such as a state’s overall attitude toward business and the work ethic of its population.

Besides New York (49) and California (50), other “worst” bottom-dwellers included Michigan, New Jersey and Illinois at 46 through 48, respectively. Neighboring Connecticut was 44, and Massachusetts 45.  At the opposite extreme, Texas was ranked the nation’s best state for business, followed by North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.

Chief executives are apparently impressed by Wisconsin’s move to get control of public-sector bargaining costs through an overhaul of collective bargaining privileges. The Badger State’s ranking improved in one year from 41 to 24.  Indiana improved from 16 to 6.  Chief Executive suggests those state have benefited from policies driven at the gubernatorial level.

In his move to end public sector collective bargaining to get control of the state’s budget, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker made (New Jersey Governor) Chris Christie appear reasonable. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels slowed state government payrolls to the point where Indiana has the nation’s fewest state employees per capita. In addition, while at least 35 states raised taxes during the recession, Indiana cut them.

Illinois, which just imposed a massive tax increase but is still going broke, has dropped 40 slots in just five years.

New York’s ranking, on the other hand, hasn’t changed much in five years.  So give Albany credit for consistency.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Voters Reject a Pair of Tax Cap-Breaching School Budgets

New York school districts whose budgets were defeated yesterday can hold a re-vote in June on the same proposal or a modified one Read More

State Spending Ante Upped by ‘One House’ Budgets

State spending will rise next year billions beyond what Governor Hochul proposed in her January budget, if the Senate and Assembly have their way. Read More

New Poll: Taxes are Top Reason Residents Looking to Leave New York

High taxes are the top reason New Yorkers are considering or making plans to move out of the state, according to a new Zogby poll. Read More

As leaves turn, NY’s post-pandemic recovery still has very far to go

New York was the national epicenter of the pandemic, and Governor Cuomo's "New York State on PAUSE" business shutdowns and other restrictions led, in short order, to the loss of nearly 2 million jobs in the first full month after the infection began spreading in the New York City area. Read More

More NY job gains in August—but employment needs to rise a lot further

New York's jobs report for August looked relatively strong—but only by comparison, that is, with what was generally regarded as a disappointing national number. On a seasonally adjusted basis, New York gained 28,000 private-sector jobs last month—a growth rate of 0.4 percent, according to preliminary monthly estimates from the state Labor Department. Read More

Sales Tax Receipts Surge Statewide, Filling Local Government Coffers

Local governments across every region of the state raked in robust sales tax collections during the three months that ended on June 30th Read More

Remote Threat 

Remote work and a more mobile professional class will increase the speed and scope of New York's ongoing out migration. Read More

New York’s Hospital Industry Ranks Near the Bottom of Two Quality Report Cards

New York's hospitals remain near the bottom of two quality report cards. The state's hospitals received the lowest rate of any state except Nevada and DC. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!