For the tenth year in a row, Texas has taken home the blue ribbon for being the best state in the country for business.
“Texas is the best state for business and I don’t see anything slow it down,” one CEO who was questioned for Chief Executive Magazine’s annual survey wrote. “The education and quality of eligible employees is excellent right now. Business is booming and growing quicker and more rapidly in 2014 than any other year. It’s an exciting time in Texas.”
Texas maintained its title as the most business friendly state by performing well in the various categories the magazine researched. These included the tax and regulatory regime, the quality of the workforce, public education system, access to affordable housing, and the overall quality of the living environment.
Florida, which came in second this year, climbed up the rankings because it followed Texas’ example.
“We’ve learned from Texas how to tell our story better and it helps that we’ve cut taxes 25 times—about $400 million,” Florida Governor Rick Scott told Chief Executive.
Scott noted that Florida’s growing base of recognizable corporations, is attracting more workers and investors to the state. “When companies like Hertz, Amazon, Deutsche Bank and Verizon add jobs here, it causes more people to look at us. Business is comfortable that we’ll keep the tax base low and improve our workforce,” he said.
With Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Arizona, Nevada, and Louisiana filling spots 3 through 9, the top states all experienced their economic success under Republican leadership.
Republican governed Ohio and Wisconsin also earned an honorable mention for reforming their state’s regulatory and tax code.
Chief Executive Magazine explained that the leading trend in the report is that states that create environments conducive to economic freedom, typically fare better than their less-free competitors.
“Those lightening the burden of government have generally improved economic growth over those insisting that state-directed spending and governance is best,” read the report.
It added, “States like Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, Indiana and others have figured out that economic freedom works.”
One of the most freedom-inhibiting states, according to the survey, was California.
The study explained that California “is a state that continues high personal income tax rates and regulates with a very heavy hand. Its top, marginal tax rate of 33 percent is the third-highest tax rate in the industrialized world, behind only Denmark and France. This situation creates a bias against savings, slows economic growth and harms competitiveness.”
Many entrepreneurs are sending California lawmakers a strong message not at the ballot box, but by taking their companies elsewhere.
Even one of the leading faces of California business community, serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, chose to consider other states as locations for Tesla’s “Gigafactory” in order to avoid the tedious process of breaking ground in his home state.
“There will always be leaders who have convinced themselves that they act from superior knowledge and wisdom,” the report noted, in an attempt to explain why poor-performing states do not ease their regulatory and such tax burdens.
However, it continued, “business leaders are not bound to indulge such delusions and neither do citizens who continue to vote with their feet and abandon such states for friendlier places.”
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