The California Exodus Accelerates

There’s lots of data, especially the comparison of rental rates for moving trucks into and out of California, to show the steady exodus of prosperous Californians and their businesses. The truck rental companies will almost give you a one-way truck to move from Texas to California, but charge a lot for a one-way truck from California elsewhere, which tells a lot.

A few years ago I was at a panel of business executives who bemoaned California’s high taxes and unfriendly regulatory environment, but who said their headquarters and major operations would stay put for the time being because they had long-term leases on building facilities, and as such it would cost more to move now than they’d save on lower costs elsewhere. But when those leases ran out. . .

One of the people who said that on this panel was Andrew F. Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. Carl’s was founded and grew up in California, but it looks like the leases are up. Yesterday’s announcement:

The parent company of Carl’s Jr., founded in Anaheim 60 years ago, is relocating its California headquarters to Nashville, Tenn.

Carpinteria-based CKE Restaurants, which also owns St. Louis-based Hardee’s, is consolidating both offices in Tennessee, where it has several company-owned restaurants. All senior executives, including Chief Executive Andrew F. Puzder will be moving to Nashville, Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley said.

By the way, did I mention that Tennessee has no state income tax? Expect more of this over the next few years.