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CFO Patronis to Elon Musk on Tax Day: Move Your Businesses to Florida Where We Embrace Low Taxes & Innovation


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Tax Day, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced that he sent a  letter to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk encouraging him to leave the burdensome taxes in California behind and relocate his businesses to the Sunshine State. As a Florida resident, Musk wouldn’t be subject to state income taxes and depending on how his many businesses are organized, he may realize up to a 50% savings on Corporate Income taxes as Florida’s 4.4% corporate income tax is half of California’s 8.84% rate.

July 14, 2020

Elon Musk
Co-founder, Corporate Executive Officer
3500 Deer Creek
Palo Alto, California

Dear Mr. Elon Musk:

With Tax Day upon us you must be saying to yourself, “What are you thinking?” No doubt, you’ve got to wonder whether all those taxes you pay in California are really worth it. As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I’m here to remind you that there is no time like the present to consider moving your businesses to the Sunshine State. Your passion for changing the world for the better can best succeed in a state that supports and promotes free enterprise. Clearly, California politicians are more focused on flexing the muscle of government control and regulation, while paralyzing the activity of free enterprise, than they are on letting a free market operate for the benefit of workers.

Of course, relocating to Florida makes the most business sense. As a Florida resident you wouldn’t be subject to state income taxes. Also, depending on how your many businesses are organized, you may realize up to a 50% savings on Corporate Income taxes as Florida’s 4.4% corporate income tax is half of California’s 8.84% rate.  Florida is also aggressive in incentivizing growth of the space-industry by offering a number of tax incentives including, an exemption of sales tax on machinery and equipment, an exemption of excise tax for space launch vehicle fuels, an exemption of space laboratories and carriers, and an exemption of direct and overhead materials. Governor DeSantis also announced last week that Florida is leaning forward in the electric vehicle space by investing $8.6 million into electric vehicle infrastructure. This investment is expected to expand charging stations by 50% along Florida’s most heavily traveled corridors.

We’re also a fiscally healthier state. California has already burned though $9 billion of its rainy day fund, while Florida’s Budget Stabilization Fund remains untouched.  For a successful businessman like yourself, California has no problem raising taxes and fees in poor economic times, so prepare yourself for the inevitable shakedown by politicians and bureaucrats who have never had to worry about making payroll.

I would also argue that Florida’s overall pro-business attitude is reason enough to relocate. Don’t forget you had to battle state and local leaders to re-open your factory in Alameda County. These are headaches you won’t have to deal with in the Sunshine State.  Our Governor and Legislature understand that keeping Florida’s economy alive and protecting Floridians from the global pandemic aren’t mutually exclusive. With California beginning the process of shutting down another grouping of indoor businesses, it’s only a matter of time before you’re facing another government-mandated shutdown.

I know you’re a busy man, but next time you visit the Sunshine State for another successful rocket launch, spend some time with the men and women who live in Florida and work at SpaceX to get their take on what working and living in Florida means to them and their families. I guarantee you’re going to hear stories from those folks about how Florida supports, and doesn’t inhibit, their growth and success.

Unlike California, Florida won’t take your business for granted. Florida is a place of visionaries with bold ideas, while the State of California worships at the church of government and bureaucracy. California’s leaders aren’t interested in helping your success; they’re interested in your submission to their authority. Come to Florida where your only limitation will be your imagination.

Jimmy Patronis

Read the letter  here.

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