Libertarian Businessman Says Goodbye to California with the New Year

Now, give us all your money.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.
  • In most states we pay a percent or two of wages for
    unemployment insurance.  In California we pay almost 7%.
     Our summer seasonal employees often take the winter off,
    working only in the summer, but claim unemployment insurance
    anyway.  They are supposed to be looking for work, but they
    seldom are and California refuses to police the matter.
     Several couples spend the whole winter in Mexico, collecting
    unemployment all the while.  So I have to pay a fortune to
    support these folks’ winter vacations.
  • California is raising minimum wages over the next 2 years by
    $2.  Many of our prices are frozen by our landlord based on
    past agreements they have entered into, so we had no way to offset
    these extra costs.  At some point, Obamacare will stop waiving
    its employer mandate and we will owe $2000-$3000 extra additional
    for each employee.  There was simply no way to support these
    costs without expanding to increase our size, which is impossible
    (see above) due to County regulations.

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.

from Hit & Run

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