Just months ago, Occidental Petroleum announced it would move its headquarters from LA to Houston. And now, Toyota is following, saying hello to lower taxes and reasonable regulations.

The world’s largest automaker will keep a foothold in the Golden State — about 2,300 jobs will remain in California after the company settles into its new corporate campus in Plano, Texas. But the announcement is an economic and symbolic slap for California, a historic center of American car culture that has been trying to shake its reputation as a frustrating place to run a business, whether that involves shooting a film or selling a Prius.

“When you look at the whole package, it’s difficult to be a business here,” lamented Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, whose community on the edge of the Pacific will suffer as the jobs migrate to Texas.

“If all these great, high-end jobs are leaving California, then we are going to turn into a place that’s a retirement community” with low-paying service-sector jobs, Scotto said. “We can’t have that,” he added, warning that unless the state has a change of attitude, “it’s going to be way too late.”

Congratulations, Gov. Rick Perry, for illustrating that California’s model of high taxes and a regulatory web pushes industry — and jobs — away.

Thankfully, here in North Carolina, the Republican-led General Assembly and the governor have taken a huge step in putting North Carolina back on the growth track with historic tax reform that not only reduced the tax burden but also flattened the structure. The legislature has enacted serious regulatory reform as well. These two reforms, coupled with a robust and growing school choice movement, are making North Carolina a very attractive state.

It is my hope that very soon, our state will be giving Texas some serious competition.