CARSON CITY – A survey of more than 600 chief executive officers who rated the best and worst states for business in 2010 has scored Nevada highly at fifth place, an improvement of one spot over 2009.
In Chief Executive magazine’s latest annual survey of CEOs for their opinions of the best and worst states for business, Texas placed first and California ranked last.
Business leaders were asked to draw upon their direct experience to rate each state in three general categories: taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. Within each category respondents graded states in five subcategories, as well as ranking each in terms of its importance to the respondent and how individual states measure up in the magazine’s sixth annual special report.
Nevada received an A- for its taxation and regulation policies and laws, and a B- for its workforce quality and living environment.
Texas fares competitively with Nevada and Delaware in terms of taxation and regulatory environment, but scored best overall, in no small measure because of the perception that its government’s attitude to business is ideal, the magazine reported.
In an interview on the Fox Business channel, Chief Executive magazine Editor-in-Chief, J.P. Donlon said California has ranked last for the past five years. The attitude towards business is worst in California, he said. Many CEOs would pick up and relocate if they could, Donlon said.
Ray Bacon, executive director of the Nevada Manufacturers Association, said the fact that Nevada is maintaining its pro-business image is good news for the state.
“We now have workers available, we have housing available, we have commercial and industrial space available, we have reasonable taxes (although that could change) and we have speedy permitting processes and approvals in most areas,” he said.
The rankings for Texas and California come as no surprise, Bacon said. Texas has created about half of all the new jobs in the nation during this recession, while the attitude of California’s government toward business is legendary, he said.
Election day will be critical to see if Californians wake up or not, Bacon said.
“If they don’t, they will go further into the ditch and keep Nevada in the depths of our recession in the process,” he said.
“We have an education challenge, but the Race to the Top application provides a path to correct our problems in that area if the next governor, Legislature and school districts take serious action to move forward on the implementation even without the federal money,” Bacon said.