I'm Quitting California! And Don't Touch My Junk!

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AUTHOR: Robert J. Cristiano, head of real estate at L88 Investment Group

THE GIST: Fed up with California's government spending and taxation of residents, like himself, who earn more than $200,000 a year, Cristiano is "opting out" of the state he's called home for the past three decades--much the way air travelers are "opting out" of body scans.


WHY ANY REFERENCES TO THE AUTHOR'S JUNK? "I am tired of California legislators sticking their hands in my pants to pay for the European style social welfare state they have created."

WHAT'S YOUR BEEF? "It is unimportant to state legislators that we high-earners pay most of California's taxes ... More important to California’s future, most of us are small businesses, which account for 65 percent of new job growth in the state."


When I moved to California in 1981, California was truly the Golden State. Its budget revenues of $22.1 billion levied just $920 per person from its population of 24 million. It had great freeways, great schools and its inexpensive college/university system was the envy of the planet. By 2009, the budget revenues had grown to $86 billion, or $2,324 per person from each of its 37 million residents. But California has a $25.4 billion deficit, which means the aging 'movement' activists who govern this state are spending $114 billion or $3,081 per resident. Spending is up 520% from 1981.


My beautiful California home is now on the market for $2,000,000. My next home will be in a no state income tax state like Texas or Nevada. I will not buy that new Jaguar that I was planning to purchase for $75,000. I will keep my old Cadillac and deprive Sacramento of $6,562 from its 8.75% sales tax. My next purchase for my real estate business will be an office building in Prague in the Czech Republic, a democracy that has lower taxes and fewer regulations. My income will remain either offshore or in a state that does not confiscate like the money grubbers in Sacramento. And, I will not be investing my capital to create any new jobs in California. In the digital age, my staff will be located in states that are a little more business friendly.

ANY PARTING WORDS? "Margaret Thatcher remarked to Parliament on February 22, 1990, 'The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.' Such will be the fate of the failed state of California and its free spending legislators, when high-earners like myself vote with their feet, and their wallets, and take their earnings elsewhere."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.