Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nevada Renews Push to Poach Businesses From CA

In this economy, many states are beginning to play hardball in order to generate more revenue. A prime example is Nevada’s recently renewed ad campaign to “poach” business owners looking to move from California. According to one of their commercials business owners can “get the monkey off your back relocate to Las Vegas. No corporate income tax, no personal income tax and low workers compensation fees. Kiss California red tape and high taxes goodbye.” Check out the following article from the Associated Press on Nevada’s newest efforts to entice business owners.

Talk about kicking a neighbor while he's down: Nevada is spending $250,000 for an ad campaign that compares California legislators to talking chimps and tells business owners they can "kiss their assets goodbye" if they stay put.

It's the latest salvo in a generally friendly rivalry that's taken on a harder edge with both states among the recession's hardest-hit areas and desperately fighting to stay afloat — California recently had to issue more than $1 billion in IOUs to survive a prolonged budget crisis while trying to slash a $26.3 billion debt.

Nevada leaders paint their clever but biting campaign — aimed at California business owners considering a move — as simply a matter of helping the Silver State fight high unemployment and diversify an economy heavily dependent on struggling casinos and tourism. Nevada business advocates are pitting their state's low taxes against rising workers' compensation rates and fears of bankruptcy in California.

But there is clearly a certain amount of grim glee at getting under the skin of their Golden State counterparts. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said he can't wait for the new ads and a chance to needle California leaders about picking off companies and jobs.

"It's going to drive them bonkers," Goodman said. "We're going to crush them."

He and others say they want to erect one billboard outside California's state Capitol building in Sacramento.

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