Split-Roll Initiative

Texas Using Split-Roll Threat to Lure California Jobs


The San Francisco Business Times reported June 23 that in light of the split-roll initiative and proposed local tax increases in various parts of California, economic recruiters in Texas “are drawing up their game plans to attract Bay Area companies growing weary of the Golden State’s tax burden.”

“Every time California is looking at new tax structures or adjusting the cost for employers to do business, we do see an uptick in calls and people inquiring what the opportunities are in the Dallas area,” Jessica Heer, senior vice president of talent attraction and leadership for the Dallas Regional Chamber, told the newspaper. “Anytime you increase taxes on employers, they’re going to start looking.”

Heer, who travels to the Bay Area every year to encourage employers to move, said California also faces job-retention problems that go beyond taxes.

“When you look at all the laws and regulations in California and you compare them to Texas, it’s the Encyclopedia Britannica compared to a pamphlet,” Heer said. “There’s just a lot more freedom to do business in Texas.”

Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, told the Business Times he has “deep concern about the myriad of taxes going on the ballot and the effect this could have on the decision of San Francisco companies to relocate all or parts of their operations.”

“Taxes equal Texas,” Wunderman said.

John Boyd Jr., a principal at a site selection consulting firm that works frequently with companies looking to move, often to the Dallas-Fort Worth region, said California’s tax proposals “could not be coming at a worse time.” Boyd said it is likely that Tesla’s headquarters will move from California to Texas soon.

While California increased taxes on businesses and proposed numerous additional tax hikes, Plano, Texas, lowered business taxes three years in row.