Texas is Coming – For California Businesses

Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee

Texas Governor Rick Perry is making a push to recruit California companies. Competition for jobs and businesses should spur California to respond with positive actions to improve the state’s business climate.

Yesterday, a press release issued by Perry’s office,  announced a radio ad campaign aimed at California businesses, in which the governor says: “Building a business is tough, but I hear building a business in California is next to impossible.”

Perry invites California businesses to check out the Texas Wide Open for Business website to “see why our low taxes, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the thing to get your business moving to Texas.” The website is designed specifically to appeal to a California audience.

The site notes California’s recent turn toward higher taxes. “Now with the passage of Prop 30, which increases California’s already excessive income and sales tax, while Texas maintains no state income tax and a low business tax burden – businesses are moving to Texas.”

Further, the site boasts of Texas being named best state for doing business eight years in a row. The source is not given, although in May, CEO Magazine rated Texas first and California last in its Best to Worst states for doing business.

The site hits on some sore points for California business. “Zero state income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations and fair legal system are just the things Texas offers to get your business moving.”

Perry is not limiting his activity to radio commercials that will run in the San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Inland Empire and San Diego media markets. The Pacific Coast Business Times, which serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, reported that Governor Perry will visit Haas Automation in Oxnard next week. The 1500 employee high-end manufacturer is considering expansion options and is in talks with California officials over taxes and fees, according to the report.

The company insisted that the Texas governor’s visit was unsolicited. However, a company spokesman said while they wanted to stay in California, “that doesn’t stop us from considering all the possibilities.”

Some California officials will not take the assault lying down. Haas Automation is also talking to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell’s Gold Team, which is attempting to keep business in California.

As in any field of endeavor, competition for businesses and jobs can be a good thing. When the San Francisco Giants built a championship team, the Los Angeles Dodgers responded by bringing in new talent to compete for the title. Getting California government officials to think about how their actions affect the business climate will, hopefully, lead to positive changes in that business climate.

The Texas governor’s radio ad can be heard here.

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