By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is making a pitch for California companies to relocate to South Florida.

It’s more than just better year ‘round weather, there is a serious dollar and cents consideration.

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On billboards, Suarez is promoting the Magic City and South Florida as the nation’s newest technology hub, a sun-bathed haven for start-ups, investment firms, and hedge funds. Apparently, some companies and their workers are expressing interest and it’s more than just year ’round warm weather.

“It has to be lower taxes. The California weather is good but Florida’s weather is better. The tax rate for corporations is half of what it is in California. California’s tax rate is over eight percent, Florida’s over four percent, that’s a huge saving,” said Staci Parrish, managing director of tax and accounting at Fiske & Company.

That’s why the Walt Disney organization has floated the idea of moving some of its operations out of the Golden State to Central Florida.

“In Florida, we don’t have a state income tax. In California that tax rate is over 12 percent and it is scheduled to go higher,” said Parrish.

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She said when clients are considering the cross-country move, they see the tax numbers.

“When we start laying out the tax savings, they really start to think about it,” said Parrish.

The California exodus of individuals has been going on for some time. Housing costs, state income tax, and crime have turned their California dream sour. Nearly 170,000 people left Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2020. Some went to areas where the cost of living and housing were more reasonable compared to California with its double-digit state income tax rate.

“So by moving your employees to Florida they are getting a raise by not paying a state income tax,” said Parrish.

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Miami’s reputation of being the “Wall Street” of Latin America is another draw for Florida. Starts ups and those long in business like to be close to emerging markets.