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Arizona climbs to No. 7 in magazine’s list of best states for business

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PHOENIX – Arizona climbed to No. 7 in an annual survey of CEOs about which states are best for business.

The Grand Canyon State had been No. 9 each of the previous two years in Chief Executive’s rankings of the best and worst states for business.

The magazine compiles the list each year by asking CEOs to rate the states in which they do business on taxes, quality of employees and quality of life.

“Our methodology for this list is very simple,” Chief Executive editor Dan Bigman told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday. “We ask America’s CEOs what they think are the best and worst places to do business in the country, and they simply rank them.”

Arizona has been ranked among the top 10 each year since 2012. Its highest spot in that span was No. 6, which it reached twice, in 2013 and 2016.

“With a booming economy, budget surplus, talented workforce, low regulation and tax environment, and unbeatable quality of life, it’s no wonder business leaders increasingly want to come to Arizona,” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a press release.

Texas maintained its No. 1 spot in the 2019 list, which was released Monday, and Florida held on at No 2. Tennessee, North Carolina, Indiana and Nevada were the other states ahead of Arizona.

“In our experience, CEOs like states where the governor is perceived as business-friendly. … Having a governor who was a CEO never hurts in he estimation of other CEOs,” Bigman said.

Ducey was the CEO of Cold Stone Creamery before getting into politics.

California and New York remained at the bottom of the pack.

The biggest riser in 2019 was Idaho, which moved up nine spots to No. 19.

Kansas took the largest fall, tumbling 10 spots to No. 29.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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