05/09/2016

A survey of 513 chief executives across the country again ranks North Carolina as the third-best state for business, according to Chief Executive magazine.

Results of the magazine’s 2016 “Best and Worst States for Business” survey show North Carolina retaining the No. 3 ranking it held in last year’s polling. Texas and Florida also held on to their first- and second-place spots, respectively, in the annual survey.

CEOs assessed states in three categories: taxes and regulations, quality of the workforce and living environment. The latter category includes cost of living, education system and state and local attitudes toward business.

Nationwide within each category, CEOs ranked North Carolina No. 3 in living environment, No. 10 in workforce quality and No. 15 in taxation and regulation.

The magazine cited the effect of tax reforms as a North Carolina advantage. For example, North Carolina’s corporate income dropped to 4 percent this year, making it the lowest rate among all 44 states levying a corporate income tax. The rate will drop to 3 percent in 2017 if state revenue triggers are meet.

“As important as taxes and regulation are, they aren’t the only factor influencing a region’s attractiveness.” the magazine says. “Migration between states illustrates favorable intrinsic conditions, as well as wise policy decisions.”

North Carolina is one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, with 481 people moving into the state each day. “This trend of people voting with their feet has benefited North Carolina, Florida and Texas — all three of which are among the top 10 best states this year —as well as states like Utah and Wyoming,” Chief Executive magazine says.

CEO comments in the survey included praise for North Carolina’s educational system and quality of life. “North Carolina has a strong technical and university support for industry,” according to one comment. “It also has great quality of life aspects for work and home life.”

The survey’s Top 10 includes:

1) Texas
2) Florida
3) North Carolina
4) Tennessee
5) Indiana
6) Arizona
7) South Carolina
8) Georgia
9) Nevada
10) Ohio