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Survey Claims Mass. Among Worst Places For Business

By Thomas Grillo, Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal
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BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts slipped to 47th place as the Best Place for Business in 2012, down from 45th last year, according to Chief Executive magazine.

Only Illinois, New York and California, which the survey said seemed to take “perverse delight in job-killing legislation,” fared worse.

One executive commented, “California and Massachusetts are in league of their own for anti-business regulatory environment.”

Another said, “Taxes and regulations in California and Massachusetts are becoming intolerable.”

Gregory P. Bialecki, the Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, said the survey does not appear to be based on objective considerations.

“The perception of Massachusetts as a good place to do business is important and we need to work on that,” he told the Boston Business Journal.

“But the good news is we have good story to tell. We’ve lowered the corporate tax rate for three consecutive years and we are cutting back on regulations.”

Texas topped the survey as the best place to do business, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana, which rounded out the top five.

The survey is based on questionnaires to 650 business leaders who were asked to grade states in which they do business on tax and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment.

The Lone Star State was given high marks for its business-friendly tax and regulatory environment.

Business leaders graded the states on a variety of categories grouped under taxation and regulation, workforce quality and living environment.

“Do not overtax business,” offered one CEO. “Make sure your tax scheme does not drive business to another state.”

Not surprisingly, states with punitive tax and regulatory policies are punished with lower ranking, and this can offset even positive scores on quality of living environment.

While state incentives are always welcome, what CEOs often seek are areas with consistent policies and regulations that allow them to plan.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal can be seen weekdays at 6 a.m. on WBZ-TV.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lvanderpool.

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