bestworst

Greenwich based Chief Executive Magazine released its Best and Worst States of 2017 issue, [May/June].

The cover illustratiion is by Redding resident Robert Pizzo  

By Mitchell Young

Greenwich: Chief Executive Magazine is based in Connecticut, but many of its most important readers don’t have a favorable view of the Nutmeg State, as a choice for business. The magazine recently released its Best and Worst 2017 issue [2016 survey data] of CEOs and Connecticut was ranked forty-six.

There were 513 CEO responders and they were asked to rank states they are familiar with, on “the friendliness of their tax and regulatory regime, workforce quality and living environment. (This latter category includes not just the cost of living but the education system and the state and local attitudes toward business).”

No worries, the CEOs don’t always do what they say, New York and Massachusetts, both states with strong economies and a growing number of businesses, ranked 49 and 45 respectively. The worst [50] was the  business powerhouse, California. Governor Dan Malloy can take bragging rights form his nemesis Governor Chris Christy, New Jersey ranked 47,, behind Connecticut – Go Huskies. Illinois, rounded out the bottom five.

The top five states, you can probably guess, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana.

The CEOs clearly have a taste for the “red states,” no blue state made their favorability rating until Delaware cracked the code at number 20. Texas and Florida have been number one and two for all twelve years of the magazine’s survey.

According to the magazine, the CEOs favor states “with fewer regulatory encumbrances.”  These CEOs at least are not looking for band aids, with the magazine reporting the CEOs thought “most remedies dangled by politicians only make things worse.”

The magazine acknowledges geographic and economic differences but concludes, “evidence suggests that pro-growth policies influence perceptions of competitiveness, particularly in the eyes of business leaders.”  The CEOs were asked to rank on quality life issues as well as economic and government issues.

Apparently, attitudes do matter with the magazine reporting, citing several growing states examples. Florida was the jobs Big Kahuna, adding 1 million private-sector jobs over the last five years. [Florida] cut taxes 50 times and got rid of 4,200 burdensome regulations. In 2014, it surpassed New York as the third-biggest state for companies to flourish.”

The magazine reported that taxes and regulation aren’t the only factor influencing a region’s attractiveness. Migration between states: illustrates "favorable intrinsic conditions.” The report on the survey claims IRS records demonstrate that from 1992 to 2011, 62 million taxpayers changed their state of residence.

And those aren’t CEOs.