TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Elon Musk has become arguably the most high-profile non-politician to openly defy stay-at-home orders in an attempt to re-open the economy.
On Monday, he openly defied a California county’s order to keep the Tesla plant closed except to minimal staff, practically daring law enforcement to arrest him.
State law says that violating the order allows a fine of up to $1,000 a day or up to 90 days in jail. Over the weekend, his feud with the state of California escalated when he threatened to move the Tesla plant to either Nevada or Texas.
“This is the final straw,” he tweeted.
According to a CNBC analysis of the difference in California’s and Texas’ respective tax rates, Musk could save more than $7 billion in income taxes if he were to make the switch to either state.
Texas and Nevada are two of seven U.S. states that do not levy taxes against personal income of any kind (Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming).
The CNBC article caught the attention of Gov. Greg Abbott who sent out an indirect message out to Musk on Twitter, urging him to make the jump.
Musk’s battle with California has also caught the attention of President Trump, who himself has been in many Twitter fights with the Golden State.
Trump sent out a tweet Tuesday morning demanding that California allow Tesla to operate immediately.
Regionally and nationally, the Musk saga is the latest example of a large movement among Republicans and businesspeople to re-open the economy as soon as possible after two months of shut downs and restrictions.
Last week, Abbott removed jail as a punishment option for violating his own executive order regarding the coronavirus. This was in response to Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther refusing to apologize for operating her business illegally despite multiple warnings and citations.
She was jailed by a Dallas County judge for seven days and fined $7,000. After Abbott altered his executive order, the Texas Supreme Court ordered Luther be released from jail.