What’s behind California-to-Texas relocations? (It’s more than taxes)

While taxes are a big part of corporations moving from California to Texas, housing costs may matter just as much.


December 18, 2020

We’ve mentioned the California-to-Texas tech migration a few times here, as we ourselves have moved HQ from San Francisco to Austin.

Others that keenly observed us and followed suit include: Oracle, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and Elon Musk’s Twitter account.

So, what’s behind the corporate movement between the country’s 2 most populous states?

The most cited reason is taxes 

While this is certainly true, there is a bit of nuance as explained by the Wall Street Journal.

Here are key considerations:

  • California has higher income taxes (up to 13.3% vs. 0%) and an active regulatory structure
  • Texas has more regressive property and sales taxes but is much more hands-off on the regulatory side

Business-level taxation is a wash, with Texas actually collecting a higher % of private sector economic activity (5%) — more than the national average (4.5%) — while California takes 4.3% per the WSJ.

Housing costs could be the X-factor 

Due to looser land-use regulations, Texas is a comparatively cheaper place to own a home. And, per one tax expert, home ownership costs are a key variable in payrolls costs.

Combine that with no state-level income tax, and wooing talent for the long-term may be easier.

The rise of remote work does make the difference a bit moot for mobile white-collar workers. Either way, come say “hi” when the world’s normal again. 👋

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.