I always look forward to returning home, even when it’s only for a short break in the legislative session. Sadly, I’m often greeted by people I’ve known for years who tell me they are `fed up,’ and are leaving California for greener pastures elsewhere.
California’s, high housing costs, the cost of commercial real estate, of electricity and gasoline, our excessive business regulations, along with some of the nation’s highest income, sales and gasoline taxes, have driven millions of hardworking Californians out-of-state. It’s not surprising that for the eighth consecutive year, Chief Executive Magazine has rated California the worst state for business in the nation.
Even so, the Governor was recently quoted as saying “We’ve got a few problems, we have lots of little burdens and regulations and taxes. But smart people figure out how to make it.” While he may believe that, the most recent IRS data available indicates that between 2004 and 2014, five million people left California, taking $26 billion in annual income with them.
For many, the Golden State is golden no longer. People may move to states with lower taxes and fewer regulations, but they also go where the jobs are. In many cases, employers have relocated to other states for just those reasons. Regulations, fees and taxes that needlessly drive up business costs need to be subjected to serious review, to say the least. After all, our `little burdens’ really aren’t that little if they destroy jobs and drive out millions.
A new legislative session begins in January, and I am hopeful that new and returning members will be able to join me in working together to lighten some of the burdens our over-governed state has placed on its hard-working people.