Have you ever seen the movie “Wagons East”? It was a story about lured to the West with free land and gold. But these people hated it and decided to return to the East led by John Candy.
A modern-day version of that is happening right now. In 2017 a total of over 138,000 people left California to escape the high rents and taxes. Only the rich and the illegal immigrants who live off the fat of government can afford to live there.
States nearby like Nevada and Texas have no state income tax, making it a more desirable place to live, especially when you factor in the much lower rents.
Dave Senser, who lives on a fixed income near San Luis Obispo, California said:
“There’s nowhere in the United States that you can find better weather than here. Rents here are crazy, if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax us to death. That’s what it feels like. At least in Nevada, they don’t have a state income tax. And every little bit helps.”
Based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, “lower income Californians are the ones who are leaving, not higher income,” said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of research and consulting firm Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.
He said housing is the chief reason people are leaving California, pointing out there are frequently bidding wars for what limited inventory of homes is available.
A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll of Californians last fall found that the high cost of living, including housing, was the most important issue facing the state. It also found more than half of Californians wanted to repeal the state’s new gas tax, which raised fees by 40 percent.
Other nearby states are seeing net increases in people moving into their states such as Texas had a net increase of more than 79,000 people.
Arizona gained more than 63,000 residents, and Nevada gained more than 38,000.