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Arizona getting aggressive to relocate California businesses

PHOENIX — Numerous California companies have come to Arizona and more are on the way.

Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, has hit California in the wallet. Broome loves helping companies relocate to Arizona from other states and countries but takes particular pride in raiding California and when it comes to that, he has no mercy.

“That’s not necessarily an economic solution for the Valley but it’s an opportunity,” he said. “We will continue to do so and be successful.”

And he believes that success will top past accomplishments. That is a shot across the bow to California, who lost three big companies to GPEC under Broome’s watch.

“eBay, Silicon Valley Bank and PayPal. So we have a lot of success. I think Charles Schwab will ultimately locate its headquarters here. California sees itself from a policy standpoint as (impenetrable) and they don’t see themselves putting their technology sector at risk. Our aerospace defense came here from California.”

In addition to these giants, Broome has convinced many smaller California companies to move east.

Broome and Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it’s no secret why businesses are bailing out of California and bringing the jobs and tax dollars here.

“Arizona has a much more competitive corporate and personal income tax environment.”

And, like Broome, Taylor isn’t shy about taking a swipe at California.

“When your two biggest exports are people and money, that’s not a good sign. California has hit a run where people are looking elsewhere.”

Taylor cites Phil Mickelson as an example of the frustration with the high California taxes. The professional golfer caught heat in the backlash last year after he complained about his supposed 60 percent tax rate. He later apologized saying he loved the state but he was concerned about California. Mickelson said he understood that his comments could be taken as unsympathetic by struggling job hunters who living paycheck to paycheck.

Broome understands Mickelson’s frustration. He met with several California executives last year who pull down a yearly paycheck of $2 million to $3 million each year and give up a big chunk of that to California.

“I told them by just moving to Scottsdale, just from a tax standpoint you give yourself a $300,000 per year raise and I know that San Francisco is a cool place,” he said. “But it’s not $300,000 cooler than Scottsdale.”

And Broome is lining up his next California conquest but can’t divulge the name of the company for confidentiality purposes.

“We hope to announce the opening of the headquarters for this prominent company this summer.”