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Thompson Tee: Another business leaves California for Nevada

California makes businesses sweat, so Thompson Tee moved to Nevada.

Founded by Billy Thompson and Randy Choi, Thompson Tee makes sweatproof T-shirts. In 2017, they appeared on the television show “Shark Tank.” They ended up declining a deal with the sharks, but their business has continued to boom.

They started the business in California. But last year, they moved the company to Nevada.

“California was one of the least business-friendly states,” Mr. Thompson told the Review-Journal’s Bailey Schulz. “The short answer to that is it’s 90 percent economical. With no income tax here in Nevada, that helps out. That’s huge for small businesses that are growing.”

In exchange for high taxes, California doesn’t even make it easier for businesses to operate. It has high taxes and more bureaucracy.

“The other side would be the regulations,” Mr. Choi said. “There’s a lot of layers of regulations from the local to state level in California that didn’t make sense for our particular business. Being registered at the state, county and city level was much more streamlined.”

Businesses such as Thompson Tees come to Nevada because lawmakers have kept taxes and regulations in check. But the Democrats who now dominate Carson City threaten to upend that model. They are considering numerous measures that would harm Nevada’s business-friendly reputation.

Start with their push for collective bargaining for state workers. That inevitably sets Nevada up for future tax increases. Soaring personnel costs will crowd out spending on priorities such as education and Medicaid. Members of the education establishment regularly call for large tax increases. Those demands will get louder in two years if politicians pass collective bargaining.

Then there are efforts to raise the minimum wage and impose mandatory paid sick leave on businesses. To his credit, Gov. Steve Sisolak has warned against increasing the minimum wage by too much, too fast. Unfortunately, he’s also signaled that he supports increasing it to $12 an hour or even more.

As Nevada attracts businesses such as Thompson Tee, it increases the demand for labor. That forces businesses to increase how much they pay even entry-level employees. In Las Vegas, numerous fast-food restaurants — the very definition of entry-level employment — now offer $10 an hour or more to new workers. Nevertheless, Democrats demand a one-size-fits-all mandate that will limit opportunities for low-skilled and inexperienced workers and be especially damaging during an economic downturn.

Businesses such as Thompson Tee come to this state because of California’s policy mistakes. Nevada politicians should learn from those mistakes, not repeat them.

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