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Phoenix leaders luring CEOs after tax hike in California

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(Source: CBS 5 News) Barry Broome said the Greater Phoenix Economic Council is using private investor funds to fly 50 CEOs from California to Arizona, putting them up and showing them around. It's a tactic called "poaching." (Source: CBS 5 News) Barry Broome said the Greater Phoenix Economic Council is using private investor funds to fly 50 CEOs from California to Arizona, putting them up and showing them around. It's a tactic called "poaching."
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

City leaders are trying to get out the message that Arizona is open for business. But they're not trying to attract businesses across the U.S. border or across the country. Instead, they're honing in on our next-door neighbors.

It costs 40 percent more to run a business in California than it does in Arizona, so Phoenix is trying to convince CEOs to ditch the Golden State and move next door.

"We're too dependent on housing, we're a retirement community, we don't have water, there are a lot of systemic reputation issues in Arizona," said Barry Broome with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. If he has his way, California businessmen and women will see us as less of a place to wind down and more of a place to set up shop.

"California basically passed a tax on high-wage earners and top performers," Broome said.

And that's where politics come in. Broome said because voters here have struck down higher taxes, we're in a good position to be the next boomtown.

"Greater Phoenix can replace Silicon Valley as an innovator," he said.

So using private investor funds, they're flying in 50 CEOs, putting them up and showing them around. It's a tactic called "poaching," and Broome is going in for the kill. Seven CEOs have already agreed to visit.

"This is much more of a guerilla marketing, direct sell strategy, nose-to-nose, hand-to-hand combat," he said.

And Broome said since businesses here can start construction the same day they apply for a permit, they'd be a fool not to hunt CEOs and keep Arizona full for the next few seasons.

"We know Virginia, North Carolina and Texas are going to be in the those markets and we want to beat them to the punch and present our case," Broome said.  

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