Calif. Didn't Worry Elon Would Leave, Probably Should Have

Tesla founder says he has moved to Texas
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2020 6:07 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2020 6:33 AM CST
Elon Musk Is No Longer a California Resident
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.   (Britta Pedersen/Pool via AP)

The second-richest person in the world has left California for a state that will let him keep a little more of that wealth. Elon Musk on Tuesday revealed that he has moved to Texas, a state that levies no income tax and doesn't tax capital gains for individuals. Compare that to California, which has the country's highest personal income tax at 13.3% for income over $1 million. The Wall Street Journal reports Musk isn't alone in exiting Silicon Valley, noting that Hewlett Packard Enterprise is planning its own move to Texas, and Palantir has already left for Denver. Tesla's new car plant is being built in Austin, and Reuters reports Musk cited his growing business interest in the state. "The two biggest things that I got going on right now are the [SpaceX] Starship development in South Texas ... and then the big new US factory for Tesla," he said. "It wasn’t necessarily a great use of my time here (in California)."

He elaborated: "If you think about war ... do you want the general in some like ivory tower or on the front lines? The troops are going to fight a lot harder if they see the general on the front lines." But in comments Tuesday, Musk did get in a dig, painting the picture of California as a sports team used to winning. Those kinds of teams "do tend to get a little complacent, a little entitled, and then they don’t win the championship anymore," he said. California "has been winning for a long time. And I think they’re taking them for granted a little bit." To that end, Gov. Gavin Newsom did earlier this year say he wasn't "worried about Elon leaving any time soon," noting "we are the best place to do business." CNN reports Musk has suggested a Texan future for a while; after California officials wouldn't let him reopen his Fremont Tesla plant in May due to COVID, he tweeted that Tesla would "move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately." (More Elon Musk stories.)

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