The PJ Tatler

The Best and the Worst

It ain’t bragging if it’s true. For the eighth year running, Texas has been named the best state for business. Big cities, resource wealth, major airports and the gulf coast line all played roles in the Lone Star State sticking to its top spot. But California and New York have all of those, and they’re at the bottom of the list.

For the eighth consecutive year, CEOs rated Texas as the top state to conduct business, according to an annual survey of 650 business leaders by Chief Executive magazine. Florida jumped up a spot to the No. 2 rank while North Carolina slipped to third, followed by Tennessee and Indiana.

The favor for Texas isn’t all that surprising, as Houston and Dallas continue to be two of the top three cities where Fortune 500 companies call home, according to the latest list by Forbes.

It also houses some major U.S. airports, such as Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, is close to major waterways like the Gulf of Mexico, and is rich in oil, favoring energy giants like ExxonMobil (XOM: 86.20, -0.84, -0.97%), which is based in Irving, Texas.

Yet, executives name New York and California as the two worst states in the U.S. to do business, followed by Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan, despite the large amount of businesses they currently house. In the list of headquarter hubs by Forbes, New York City was the biggest, with 45 Fortune 500 companies, and San Francisco tied for sixth.

The difference comes down to leadership and policy.

In Texas, for example, local economic development corporations, as well as the state Texas Enterprise Fund, and looser regulations, provide attractive incentives to businesses.

While in California, a lack of hospitality to businesses, high state taxes and stringent regulations have been named as reasons why companies continue to leave the state.

Texas’ biggest worry: High migration to the state will bring in voters who don’t understand that their own votes resulted in policies that forced them to leave their previous states. Texas second biggest worry: Another four years of Barack Obama’s hostility to the state and our way of doing business.