Home steep house
Reports from exotic countries, like Seattle and Boston, indicate that people are on the move. Out of exotic areas. They mainly move inland.
Real estate brokerage Redfin.com reports that in the first quarter of this year nearly a third of its clients sought to move to another metropolitan area. At the start of the pandemic, people were on the move, he says, because remote work made it possible. Now, “the continued rise in house prices – as well as rapidly rising mortgage rates, which further increase monthly payments – are adding fuel to the fire”.
As a result, expensive cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston are “seeing the first signs of a slowing housing market.”
According to Fox News, the number of people leaving Seattle “has increased dramatically over the past two years.” And why not? According to Redfin.com, in February a “typical” home in the “Seattle area” sold for $750,000.
Typical house. Not necessarily in Seattle proper, but in the Seattle area. Sold for $750,000. This represents an increase of 15% compared to the previous year.
Is it any wonder that people leave for the heart of the country? Seattle alone lost 24,000 people last year, more than double its losses from the previous year.
(According to yahoo.com, one of the factors for people on the move is quality of life. A company person told the service, “Access to the beach, water, and outdoor spaces throughout the year is a big draw for people. …” What our own Rex Nelson has been advising for years.)
Many Americans move to Texas, Nevada, Tennessee and Florida. And why not? These states not only have lots of space and cheap land, but they also have the advantage of having no income tax. Hence the many stories in the national news about the people who settle there.
How could Arkansas make such national news?
We’ve said it before, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again: Arkansas could cause a stir by granting a five-year moratorium on all income taxes to any new residents of the state. Those who move to Arkansas would pay no income tax until their fifth year in the state.
This would put Arkansas on a very competitive footing with other states for new residents – and not just with border states. Imagine someone in New Jersey or Vermont looking for a four-season state and learning that Arkansas would give them five years without paying income tax.
Since these people do not live or pay taxes here, granting this exemption should not cost Arkansas anything. Additionally, most retirees would move here with their savings accounts and open new deposits in local banks which could then lend money to further stimulate economic growth.
Are there any other states that offer a temporary income tax moratorium? If so, we don’t know them. Arkansas reportedly has a unique program to try to stimulate statewide economic development, benefiting low-income, middle-income, and indeed all Arkansans.
And our housing costs would raise eyebrows for those who now live on the coasts – not in a bad way. For $750,000 over here, you can get a nice spot on a hill with a guest house, swimming pool, and a few acres for a tomato garden.