Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

California Remains Number One...




    ... as the state CEOs hate most.

    California retained its ranking as the worst state in which to do business, according to CEO Magazine. Be proud: California has been No. 1 in those rankings every year that they've had rankings, going back to 2005.

    What do the CEOs base that judgment on?

    They don't like our relatively high income and sales taxes -- the CEOs are particularly unhappy about our 10 percent top bracket -- a bracket that only kicks in if you make more than $1 million per year. High unemployment is a problem. The power of unions -- unionization has climbed slightly over the past two decades in the state, even as it declines elsewhere -- is seen as a problem.

    The CEOs do say we have a nice place to live, with Bill Dormandy, CEO of San Francisco medical device maker ITC, quoted as saying: “California has a good living environment but is unfavorable to business and the state taxes are not survivable."

    One contrary note: Despite this CEO griping, CEOs and other rich people seem to see California as a destination, not a place to leave. The notion that high taxes drive away the rich is a myth, as the California Budget Project recently pointed out.