California's Competitiveness

California’s Competitiveness: Bay Area Space Company Moves Headquarters to Florida

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Robotics manufacturing startup Made in Space is moving its Mountain View headquarters to Jacksonville, Florida, becoming the latest Bay Area company to move its operations out of California.

The company will invest more than $3 million in a new 20,000-square-feet headquarters where it already has added more than 50 jobs in the past year. The company said it will maintain a presence in the Silicon Valley to “support additional technology programs and strategic relationships with industry partners.”

Mountain View businesses are facing new costs thanks to an employee “head count tax” that took effect January 1. The tax, approved by voters in 2018, is imposed based upon the number of employees a business has working in the city. When the tax was being debated, opponents noted that it would prompt businesses to take operations and investments elsewhere, leading to job losses.

Last year, NASA awarded the company a $73.7 million contract to build a self-assembling satellite that can be made in space using 3-D printing technology.

Made in Space joins McKesson and Charles Schwab as the latest companies to move their headquarters to lower-cost regions of the country.

Florida does not have a state income tax.

California’s business tax climate has been ranked third-worst in the nation by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation. (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, January 21.)

In other related news:

California Ranked 49th in U-Haul’s List of Top Growth States. U-Haul this week released its Top Growth States of 2019 rankings, reporting that California is 49th out of the 50 states.

The rental company calculates growth states by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering vs. leaving that state during a calendar year. California’s ranking means there was a net loss, with more U-Hauls exiting than entering the state. Only Illinois ranked lower.

While the data serves as an interesting comparison, U-Haul noted that its “migration trends do not correlate directly to population growth or economic growth.” Instead, the ranking provides “an effective gauge of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents,” the company said.

Oakland Raiders Officially Move to Las Vegas. In a January 22 announcement, the Oakland Raiders football team officially changed its name to the Las Vegas Raiders, approximately two months ahead of the original timeline.

The move takes the Raiders from the highest marginal income tax rate of 13.3 percent to a state with no income tax, a change that the general manager touted.

“I think first and foremost, we go from a 13-percent state tax in California to a zero-percent state tax in Nevada,” General Manager Mike Mayock told “The players and their agents are very aware of that.”

The players and staff still will be hit with state income taxes for road games played in states that tax income.

Mayock said financial savings will allow the Raiders to invest in team facilities on par with the best organizations in the National Football League.