Billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is reportedly gearing up to permanently decamp to Texas in an effort to take advantage of the Lone Star State’s lack of personal income taxes.
According to CNBC, several of Musk’s close confidants say that the entrepreneur plans to formalise plans to move to the Lone Star State months after he first hinted that he planned to leave California, where he currently resides. Apparently, everything is bigger in Texas — including the local property tax breaks Musk reportedly received in July when he broke ground on a new Tesla factory that will produce Cybertruck, Model Y, Model 3, and Semi vehicles. California also has the highest income tax rate in the country, and CNBC reports that the move could save Musk — who currently stands to earn more than $US50 ($67) billion in stock options — billions of dollars in the long run.
The decision to relocate to Texas comes after Musk publicly sparred with California officials last spring over covid-19 lockdown restrictions in the state that temporarily forced Tesla’s Fremont plant to shut down.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” Musk tweeted at the time. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be depend on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
In May, the billionaire also cryptically tweeted that he planned to sell almost all of his “physical possessions” and “will own no house” after listing his California homes for sale.
Musk has been expanding his operations in Texas for years, and the facilities for his tunnel-building Boring Company and aerospace manufacturing company SpaceX are already located in Austin and Boca Chica, Texas, respectively. In July, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seemed to corroborate plans for a move when he said during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Musk had told him he’d gotten a Texas driver’s licence and is a “bona fide Texan now.”