After 31 years in California, making a good living in commercial real estate, John Ghiselli had enough. His youngest child was out of high school and he was free to move where he wanted to with minimal disruption to his family life. He chose Texas. And he’s hoping you will, too—he’ll even help.

Ghiselli wasn’t ready to retire. And in his commercial real estate development business, he had noticed that the trickle of businesses moving out of California 15 years ago had grown into a flood. Businesses large and small, publicly traded and privately-owned, were calling it quits in the Golden State and starting anew elsewhere.

In some cases, though, owners who thought they might be able to improve profitability by relocating out of California were held back by the cost of moving, combined with the uncertainty of making the jump. This gave Ghiselli an idea: What if capital for moving wasn’t an issue—how many more businesses might take the initiative to move out of state?

As soon as Ghiselli landed in Texas, he created Waterloo Capital Private Equity, LLC. He’s now open for business and looking to provide capital to companies with revenues in the range of $20 million to $250 million—if they’ll move out of California and relocate to Texas (or to other low-cost states).

Ghiselli is confident he’ll get a return on his investment because his research shows that the average business that leaves California sees a 32% savings in overall operating costs. Further, moving out is a matter of fiduciary responsibility owed by corporate leaders to both shareholders and employees alike.

The reasons for the savings aren’t hard to understand—Ghiselli lists them in his pitch. California, he notes, is:

  • Worst State for Business per CEO Magazine
  • Worst Quality of Life per U.S. News & World Report
  • Business Tax Climate ranked No. 49 per the Tax Foundation
  • Dead last for costliest state income tax per the Tax Foundation
  • Among the worst for corporate income taxes
  • 2nd worst workers’ compensation insurance costs
  • 3rd worst for Electricity Costs
  • Among the worst in Education—ranked 42 in K-12 outcomes
  • 2nd to last place for Housing Affordability and Economic Freedom
  • Highest Poverty Rate in the U.S. and ranked dead last for Homelessness

And on and on it reads for a whole page of damning indictments against the once-Golden State. Ghiselli cites information from a study showing 13,000 businesses have left California over the past eight years. The study is by Joe Vranich, a former Californian who moved to Pittsburgh. His Spectrum Location Solutions analyzes the best state and city for businesses to relocate, based on a full range of factors—hence the “Spectrum” in the name.

Ghiselli’s pitch also includes a quick reference table that compares various taxes and costs between California and Texas.

Ghiselli’s timing couldn’t be better. A recently released poll of Californians by the Institute of Governmental Studies at U.C. Berkeley found that 52% of registered voters had given serious (24%) or some (28%) consideration to moving out of the state. This includes 74% of the state’s very conservative voters—people who are more likely to own their own businesses. High housing costs, high taxes and the state’s repressive political climate are cited as reasons to want to move out.

And with California’s new, anti-independent contractor law (AB5) now in effect, hundreds of thousands of Californians are threatened with unemployment, while the businesses that employed them are having to completely reevaluate their business models.

Adding further uncertainty, a November ballot proposition threatens to gut the state’s venerable Proposition 13, one of California’s only effective tools for restraining taxes. The ballot measure would create a so-called “Split-Roll”—treating commercial property according to different tax rules than residential property. If it passes, business taxes will jump by $10.5 billion annually and go up from there.

Adding insult to injury, powerful California lawmakers have been pushing a 40% death tax on estates worth more than $3.5 million. The bill died last year but is likely to be resurrected in California’s insatiable quest for more tax revenue.

Entrepreneurs like John Ghiselli show that even in the face of large and overbearing government and the crushing taxes it demands to feed it, there is opportunity—in this case, opportunity borne of California’s big government drive to tax and regulate everything.