Executives were asked their opinions of tax policy, regulatory climate and talent availability in each state. The only states that ranked lower than Illinois were New York (49th) and California (50th), with Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Indiana rounding out the top five.
“Illinois has been at the bottom of the list throughout the survey,” Dan Bigman, editor of Chief Executive, told Crain’s.
Notably, COVID-19 has executives rethinking where they do business, upping the stakes for states trying to attract new industries. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they are “more open than before to examining new locations” for their companies, while 34 percent said they’re “considering shifting [or] opening significant operations [or] facilities in a new state,” according to the report.
Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says Illinois’ high property taxes are behind the state’s low ranking.
“High taxes are definitely a main factor why Illinois does not fare well when it comes to rankings,” he said. “And Illinois should be spanking Indiana’s butt in terms of places to do business. Indiana is a good place, but they don’t have the infrastructure we have and the fact that they are fifth when we are 48th is frankly an embarrassment.”