CEOs apparently aren’t buying it.

Maybe the nation’s CEOs don’t watch enough TV, or perhaps they lack a sufficient appreciation for Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.

Whatever the reason, respondents to Chief Executivemagazine’s ninth annual survey of ”Best and Worst States for Business“ ranked New York among the worst at 49th, unchanged from last year. Other bottom-dwellers included California (#50), Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. The top-rated states: Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Chief Executive reported that its ninth annual survey received 736 responses from CEOs, the highest number ever.

“Business leaders were asked to grade states with which they are familiar on a variety of competitive metrics that CEOs themselves regard as critical. These include: 1) taxation and regulation; 2) quality of workforce; and 3) living environment. The tax and regulatory grade includes a measure of how CEOs grade a state’s attitude toward business, a key indicator.”

New York got a single star for Taxes and Regulations, three stars for Quality of Workforce, and two-and-a-half stars for Living Environment. Texas, by contrast, received four stars in the first two categories and three-and-a-half stars in the third. (Unfortunately for Albany, there was no ranking for Most Money Spent on a Ubiquitous Business Marketing Campaign.)

Among northern states most like New York, Ohio had the greatest improvement in the magazine’s survey over the past year, moving up 13 places to #22 in the Chief Executive rankings. “Ohio has made a dramatic turnaround under Republican leadership,” one reader commented. CEO comments on the New York page were less positive, including the following:

“New York’s taxes on the job creators is broken and taxing authorities are too bureaucratic – a glimpse of everything bad in the federal government.”

“New York headed in the right direction, but still way behind other states.”

“No matter how good the people and the weather are, activist departments of revenue, lots of regulations, and high taxes make states like CA and NY bad options, always.”

“Given New York’s onerous tax regulations, we are seriously going to consider whether we allow employees to travel to or participate in events in that state. We can’t afford for NY to become a tax nexus for us just because our employees participate in a conference in NY or the like.”

“New York and New Jersey have high costs of doing business and favor local companies to a greater extent than other states favor their local companies.”


About the Author

E.J. McMahon

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

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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