Maryland falls again in state business rankings
Maryland fell again in Chief Executive magazine's annual ranking of "best states for business." The state ranked 37th -- pretty poorly. That looks like it's down from 34th last year, although the magazine's chart seems to have some typos.
But Maryland's rank wasn't as bad as those of Illinois, New York and California, which scored 48th, 49th and 50th. Illinois and Maryland are distinguished by their inclusion in the "5-Year Biggest Losers" category for states with falling rankings. Illinois plunged 40 places, from 8th to 48th over that period, while Maryland fell 16 spots, from 21st. Of course that period coincides with the departure of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Maryland's first Republican governor in decades, and the inauguration of Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who substantially raised taxes.
California and Illinois probably got negative marks partly for the miserable state of their budgets, which has earned them tons of bad publicity. If O'Malley hadn't raised taxes, Maryland's budget situation might have been as bad as theirs. The "winners" on the list are the usual suspects: southern states with cheap labor and low taxes. Texas, North Carolina and Florida were 1 through 3.
If the business climate in Florida is so great, why is the unemployment rate 11 percent? (Maryland unemployment is 6.9 percent.)