We’re #2: CEO’s Like Florida

Florida trails only Texas in business climate according to new survey.

Florida trails only Texas in business climate according to new survey.

CEO magazine has named Florida the second best state in America to do business.

The Sunshine State trailed only Texas according to the magazine’s rankings which took into consideration: tax and regulatory climate, the quality of the workforce and the quality of the living environment. Texas has been atop the rankings since the survey began 10 years ago. The ranking are derived from surveys of 500 CEOs.

Michigan, New Jersey and New York all fall in the category of the worst states for business, according to the survey. California ranks last in the study getting low marks for taxes and regulations.

Florida scored high in most categories and beat Texas in quality of life rankings.

Says the magazine:  “California, Illinois, New York, Oregon and others do not have a viable long term strategy for achieving economic balance and therefore will only get worse. Other states such as Texas Florida and Arizona have a growing economy and reasonable rules and regulations and a positive attitude towards business. The former states are steadily declining into disaster territory such as Detroit. The other states will continue to become stronger and stronger. The difference will ultimately be similar to a productive and industrious northern Italy and a lazy unproductive southern Italy. Any attempt to force the productive states to subsidize the unproductive states will result in civil unrest.”

Strong words indeed.

The rest of the top ten were Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Arizona, Nevada, Louisiana and Georgia.

In the midst of a hot gubernatorial race, Florida Gov. Rick Scott applauded the rankings.

“We’ve learned from Texas how to tell our story better and it helps that we’ve cut taxes 25 times—about $400 million,”  Scott told Chief Executive. Scott points to what he calls the Jim Collins “flywheel effect” where momentum is generated as more big name companies invest in his 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.”

Here’s a look at some key metrics for Florida:

State GDP

•% Growth ’11-’12: 2.4

•% Growth ’11-’12 v. Nat’l Avg. (2.5%): -0.1



•Unemployment Rate Dec. 2013 %: 6.2

•Comparison with Nat’l Rate (6.70%): -0.5


Domestic Migration

•Domestic Net Migration 2013: 91,484

•Rank: 2


State Government

•State Debt per Capita Fiscal Year ’13 ($): 2,381

•State & Local Gov’t Employees per 10k Residents: 489.5


State-Local Tax Burden

•Rate (%): 9.3%

•Compared to Nat’l Avg. (9.9%): -0.55%


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