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

California Remains Number One...



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    INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 12: Larry Ellison (L), CEO of Oracle Corporation and owner of the tournament, holds up a one million dollar check during the BNP Paribas Open Hit for Haiti at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 12, 2010 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

    ... 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.