Is Texas Paying People to Move There - Texas Population Surge

Real Estate Agent with Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - 0480809

I recently came across a question on an online real estate forum that I found quite humerus and wanted to address it here. The question was, "Is Texas paying people to move there?"

This person is in California and complaining about the new tax increases for 2013. He pointed out that many people from CA are moving to Texas and there would be many more if the cost of moving wasn't so high. He feels it will take him 12 months to reach a break-even for the moving expenses so it would be a good thing if there were "any incentives for individuals or families moving to Texas".

texas tax incentives - no state income taxCan you guess the answer? The quick answer is NO!  Texas doesn't have a state income tax so reducing a 0 to below 0 doesn't do anything.  Texas can't reduce the Federal Income Tax rates as they have no control over that. Home owners already receive a Homestead exemption when property is purchased as a primary residence, so the incentive is for people to buy houses not just rent.

Did these responses satisfy this guy? Nope, not in the least. He kept saying we weren't understanding his question. He went on further to state, "That's not what I meant... I was curious if TX is offering a tax incentive for moving sort of like what it offers businesses but for individuals."  Isn't that just restating his initial question?  Same answer. Texas has NO individual state income tax so that is already the incentive to move here!

So just to be clear, he writes again about how people aren't understanding him and "Texas would just be allowing me to keep more of the money I earn. I figured if they were wiling to do it for businesses, might there just be something similar for individuals?????"  Yes, he had 5 question marks.  Is the answer still no?  Yes, the answer is no. 

Let me make myself a bit more clear, TEXAS HAS NO STATE INCOME TAX!! Having no state income tax is already putting more money in an individual's pocket or piggy bank, hence allowing people to keep more of the money they earn.  If he buys a house, he will get a reduction in property taxes when he files for a Homestead Exemption, which is free to file.  What more does this guy want?

Texas is having a huge population surge. We don't need to pay people to move here. People are moving here because they want to and because they know it's a great place. We have jobs. We have low housing prices. We have a great economy.  The incentive to move to Texas? A potentially better life with potentially more opportunities for you.

Though this does beg the question, "Should Texas give incentives to people who have lived here their entire lives?"  Oh wait, we have that too, if you are a property owner. If you're over 65 years old, you get to file another exemption on your property to freeze your taxes and you can carry it to another house as well. Again, you must be a property owner and it must be your primary residence. And guess what?? You can file the Over 65 the day you turn 65, and if you just moved to Texas, you can have the exemption! You don't have to be a long time Texan to receive that benefit. How is that as an incentive to move to Texas?

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Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate

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Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

So with no state income tax and low property taxes due to the exemption I guess one must ask about the quality of public schools if one has a family.

Jan 02, 2013 01:11 AM #1
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Edward, No one said "low" property taxes. Taxes, depending on where you are in Texas, can range from 1.5% upwards to 4%. Where I am, my taxes are 2.02% and with the Homestead Exemption, it takes it to about 1.8% and some change. Areas right down the street from me, in the same school district, pay 2.8% and 2.9% but also down at 2.34% the opposite direction. My entire school district is Exemplary Rated and there aren't many districts that have that rating. Schools in the 'burbs tend to be "better" than main cities, but that's also a generalization as there are many individual schools that are good within a not-so-good district. Make sense?

Jan 02, 2013 01:19 AM #2
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Obviously, this guy didn't understand that incentives are usually provided through tax breaks. Because TX doesn't have income tax, there are no incentives. Except that you don't have to pay income tax. That is the incentive as you point out.

Jan 02, 2013 01:54 AM #3
Jim Patton
Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816 - Turlock, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor.

Donna - It sounds like this guy wanted the state of Texas to write him a check to move there.   Either that or he was just clueless. 

Jan 02, 2013 04:40 AM #4
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Tammie, I know! We kept trying to explain that he kept coming back with the same question with different words saying the same things.

Jim, Exactly! He wants Texas to pay his moving expenses because it was going to take him a year to breakeven and he couldn't afford to move because of that. Like Texas needs another person wanting something for nothing...

Jan 02, 2013 05:55 AM #5
Karen Cooper
Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas - Leander, TX
Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 23 US States

Donna - No State income tax, reduced property taxes, sound like incentives to me. With Texas hitting top ten lists for business/economies/housing markets to boot, definitely some incentives to relocate to Texas. I know this has all caught my eye for when I launch my kiddo in the next couple of years... Gonna head that direction and check things out one day soon.

Jan 02, 2013 08:01 AM #6
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Tell him to move to Alaska. I think they're still paying residents a share of the oil revenues...

Jan 03, 2013 01:07 AM #7
Lainie Ramsey
Homes By Lainie Real Estate Group - Pottsboro, TX
Lake Texoma Expert

And they say there are no dumb questions!  :-)

Jan 03, 2013 02:22 AM #8
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

Karen, Come on down!

Tim, He can join one of those gold rush teams I see on tv!

Lainie, And there aren't, but he should have taken the first answer and not continued asking the same thing hoping for a new answer.

Jan 03, 2013 04:08 AM #9
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source

Hi Donna,  Texas is the incentive! Good post!!!!

Jan 04, 2013 12:05 AM #10
Randy Landis
Retired in Samar - Tupelo, MS
Overseas Retirement Consultant

Maybe his biggest incentive is to live and work in the oilfields of West Texas. More money, and very low taxes. He just has to go where others don't want to if he wants to decrease his tax liabilities!

Jan 15, 2013 09:49 AM #11
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Donna Harris

Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator
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