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Jimmy Patronis sends a letter to Elon Musk to invite him to see how Florida is the best state to relocate his Tesla factory from California.

Corona Economics

‘What are you thinking?’: CFO Jimmy Patronis invites Elon Musk to Florida on Tax Day

Patronis described Florida as the prescription to all of Musk’s woes.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday explaining why Florida is the best state to host his multi-billion dollar electric car company.

Musk in recent months has grown increasingly frustrated with the high taxes and stiff shutdown orders impacting his factory in Alameda County, California. So much so, he has threatened to relocate his factory.

In the two-page letter, Patronis made his case as to why Florida is the right prescription for all his woes.

“With Tax Day Upon us you must be saying to yourself, “What are you thinking?,” Patronis wrote. “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. You’re passion for changing the world for the better can best succeed in a state that supports and promotes free enterprise.”

Patronis used more than flattery to lure the Spacex CEO. He also made a fiscal case as to why Florida is the best landing pad for the business in the country.

“As a Florida resident you wouldn’t be subject to state income taxes,” Patronis continued. “Also, depending on how many of your 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.”

Patronis also highlighted the state’s overall financial health in comparison to California. Florida has yet to touch its Budget Stabilization Fund. California, however, has already “burned through $9 billion of its rainy day fund.”

“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,” Patronis explained.

The letter from Patronis to Musk does not come as a cold call. On Twitter, Patronis has frequently reached out to Musk, sending pictures of Florida’s white sand beaches while mentioning the fiscal highlights of the state.

Patronis even launched a website inviting Floridians to add their name to an online welcome card for Musk.

“Join me in inviting Elon Misk to Florida where he can reopen Tesla without lawsuits and the threat of imprisonment,” the welcome card said in May.

Patronis has been a public and vocal critic of high tax states. In recent weeks, he casted stones at the tri-state area, who he describes as the “Haven of High Taxes.”

As he told Musk, Florida would never do such a thing.

“Unlike California, Florida won’t take your business for granted,” Patronis wrote. “California leaders aren’t interested in helping your success; they’re interested in your submission to their authority.”

Written By

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capitol for Florida Politics. After a term with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studies Political Science, American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at jason@floridapolitics.com or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.

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