ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—On a list of “Best States for Business,” Maryland ranks near the bottom. That’s the findings of a national magazine released this week.

As Gigi Barnett explains, CEOs across the country are blaming Maryland’s sky-high tax rate.

“If it’s the right thing, you go for it,” said Bill Decker.

Three months ago, the right thing came across Decker’s desk: the chance to own his own manufacturing business in Howard County. He took it.

Now, two partners and 18 employees later, the small business is thriving.

“I like it here,” Decker said.

But many business owners aren’t taking that same chance on Maryland.

A new list by Chief Executive Magazine ranking the best and worst places to do business puts the free state at number 41–just nine from the dead last.

“All of a sudden, the land of pleasant living has become somewhat unpleasant,” said Anirban Basu, economist.

This comes as nearly half of all Marylanders — 47 percent — say they’re ready to pack up and leave the state.

Another survey ranked Maryland as one of the least favorite states to retire.

The biggest reason: taxes.

Basu says small businesses here are struggling the most. They’re hit hard by the state’s 10 percent tax burden.

Nationally that number is right at 9.9.

“Small businesses are suffering from higher costs generally. Health care costs, for instance. There’s always competition with bigger businesses for the best employees. And on top of it there are tax increases,” Basu said.

But there’s a bright spot that could cause some businesses to choose Maryland: the workforce; it’s highly qualified and well educated.

“You get people that are willing to see the bigger picture. We’re not doing minimum wage jobs here,” Decker said.

So, what’s the best state for business? According to the magazine it’s Texas, followed by Florida and Tennessee.

CEOs say the worst state to do business is California.

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