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Richard Rider

Departing businesses hide their reasons for leaving California — but here’s a refreshing exception

We critics of California’s anti-business, anti-wealth, pro-litigation mindset get upset that the businesses that CA governments drive out of our state will seldom tell WHY they are leaving. Well, they DO come up with numerous reasons in their press releases, but most are “positive” factors that make somewhere else a preferred choice — rather than detailing the NEGATIVE factors that drive them out of the Golden State. ONE thing’s for sure — they are not leaving for the better weather! 

But look it it from the standpoint of departing business owners and management. There’s no profit in announcing the real reasons they are living.  Two major considerations call for avoiding criticizing California: 

1. California is a notoriously vindictive state — the many agencies sometimes come after critics of the status quo. Even after they leave the state. Remember, if such companies do ANY business in the state, they face potentially onerous tax and regulatory repercussions. Plus the vicious FTB can come after you by going back years in tax returns — both business and personal. 

2. Criticizing California’s oppressive progressive policies risks generating a consumer backlash, with calls for “boycott!” CA has one-eighth of the entire nation’s population. Why piss off the majority of ’em? 

Rarely will a company COMPLETELY leave California and be willing to tell the truth.  Most businesses understandably decide to keep their heads down about the real reasons they are leaving — to do otherwise will adversely impact the bottom line. Certainly that’s true for any company that makes and sells products or services to the public. 

That being said, below is a revealing, candid horror story from January of this year — told by one feisty company owner after closing his only California operation (Ventura County).  He declares he will do no future business at all here — and tells why.

The important takeaway from his story (and his blog) is that he did NOT leave because of taxes (his business is in multiple states — he did not reside in California) — he closed his business here because of the anti-business regulatory climate, plus the unrelenting legal risk of doing any business in the Golden State. 


Free Minds and Free Markets 


Libertarian Businessman Says Goodbye to California with the New Year

Scott Shackford|Jan. 6, 2014 10:30 am



Now, give us all your money.Credit: David Herrera


Libertarian businessman and park privatization advocate Warren Meyer is celebrating the new year by getting the heck out of California, like so many other businesses. He posted the many reasons why it’s so hard to do business in the Golden State, particularly in Ventura County, on his blog. Here’s a sampling of some of the reasons:

It took years in Ventura County to make even the simplest modifications to the campground we ran.  For example, it took 7 separate permits from the County (each requiring a substantial payment) just to remove a wooden deck that the County inspector had condemned.  In order to allow us to temporarily park a small concession trailer in the parking lot, we had to (among other steps) take a soil sample of the dirt under the asphalt of the parking lot.   It took 3 years to permit a simple 500 gallon fuel tank with CARB and the County equivalent.   The entire campground desperately needed a major renovation but the smallest change would have triggered millions of dollars of new facility requirements from the County that we simply could not afford.

Meyer noted at the end that while California’s high-tax climate is often eyed as being a business-killer, it wasn’t as large an issue for him. California’s horrible regulatory structure and fee system doesn’t get nearly enough attention as everybody argues about the taxation limits put in place by Proposition 13. Whenever any progressive whines that Proposition 13 is tying the state’s hands in collecting revenue, he or she needs to be reminded that the state and the various municipalities within the state milk every single cent they can get out of businesses. Unfortunately, state politicians only seem to care when regulations threaten their favorite train or stadium projects.