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New Geography: Reasons People Are Moving From Los Angeles to Dallas — More Important Than Escaping Higher Taxes


Californians escaping high taxes dominate the real estate news. Yes it is true, leaving California because of high city, county and state income tax for Dallas and Texas, with no income tax, is a motivation, but last on my list of seven reasons why people are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. People will pay more to live where they like living, whether that means higher taxes, higher home prices or higher cost of living. People will leave a place they do not enjoy if they can afford to. This is the case with Angelenos. Residents have found Los Angeles increasingly unpleasant.

For generations California offered sunshine and blue skies, opportunity and greater freedom. The skies became grayer, opportunities became increasingly restricted and basic freedoms curtailed. Subtle regulatory incursions like delaying construction of a home for a few years, to the overt oppression such as shutting down schools and restaurants long after other parts of the country successfully reopened breed discontent. A trickle of clients moving to Dallas became a wave. The pandemic brought everything into hyperfocus. Californians now want to live in Dallas, a city their family would enjoy. Now the skies in Dallas are bluer, the grass is greener, the parkway trees taller, freedom more profound and opportunities more robust.

Dallas Is Drawing People from Los Angeles to Dallas for These Seven Reasons

  1. Nonpartisan Elected Officials Draw Angelenos From Los Angeles to Dallas

    When political divisiveness is at an all-time high, Dallas has nonpartisan elections for the Mayor, City Council, and DISD school board, all held six months away from partisan elections. In California too local officials are officially non-partisan but in reality they generally identify and act as progressive Democrats. In contrast, this November, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson made no partisan election endorsements out of respect for his nonpartisan office. This allows the city and public school policy to be debated in nonpartisan terms.
  2. Dallas Mayor Calls for Lower Taxes and More Employment Attracting People From Los Angeles to Dallas

    While across the country city tax rates and growing financial obligations are going up, crushing the future of cities, the tax rates in Dallas have gone down and the Dallas mayor is pushing to make the tax rate still lower. Mayor Eric Johnson grew up in a low-income West Dallas neighborhood and understands the need for jobs in a city and a healthy business climate to generate jobs.
  3. Dallas Supports Law and Order and Reduction in Bureaucracy

    When cities are struggling with lawlessness and an exorbitant increase in murder rates, many have called for defunding or lowering the funding the police. Mayor Johnson has spoken out forcefully to maintain overtime pay for police and lower the pay for city bureaucrats and administrators. The Dallas mayor also advocates for increased transparency and efficiency in city government. This creates a sense of urgency for Dallas to get better, not to be satisfied with Dallas just being better and safer than other cities.
  4. Dallas Health and Prosperity

    The pandemic has made most cities the most vulnerable to both COVID and the shutdown. Dallas has been very respectful of the pandemic and the health of the city. Dallas has also been very respectful for the need to be as open as possible in order to preserve the incomes of minorities and low-income residents. Opening schools as quickly as possible for the benefit of children was also a priority.

    One of the reasons Dallas has had higher survival rate outcomes than New York or California is because of a more thoughtful public policy and the most incredible talent and efforts of some of the best medical personnel in the country. Dallas leaders’ communication with the citizens convey the seriousness of the situation, but have not come across as punitive. Vaccines have been rapidly distributed with increasing efficiency to all segments and areas of Dallas.
  5. Big Business and Small Business Connectivity is Magnet For Move From Los Angeles to Dallas

    Dallas business has always taken a civic and political leadership role. The pandemic inspired business leadership, with the encouragement of the Mayor and City Council, to double down on its mission for business connectivity. Every day there has been a concerted effort by big business to connect and impact small businesses, which are primarily minority or female owned or have a majority of minority employees. Large Dallas businesses have collaborated with entrepreneurial nonprofits to provide both money and coaching to small businesses to help them fight through the pandemic and come out even stronger. Dallas business and political leaders along with the Dallas Chambers realize a majority of people are employed by small business. These leaders know if the small businesses in Dallas are strong, Dallas will remain strong.
  6. Neighborhoods and Homeownership are the Heart and Soul of Dallas

    Single-family zoned neighborhoods are still revered in Dallas. While high-density developments spring up across Dallas, there is still a desire by Dallas citizens to be able to have homes with a front porch, tree-lined streets and curbs free of parked cars and heavy traffic.

    The mayor, growing up in Dallas in an inexpensive neighborhood, advocates home ownership for low-income minorities because he understands homeownership creates wealth, which is far more important than subsidizing expensive apartments for minorities.

    During the pandemic, people are fleeing from cities. In contrast, Dallas is thriving because Dallas neighborhoods provide delightful environments to shelter in place. Because of this environment, people are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas.
  7. Moving from Los Angeles to Dallas Makes One Feel That They Can Buy a Home for Free

    I guess I should mention that many people have said to me over the last five years that they can move from Los Angeles to Dallas and virtually buy a home for free for what they are saving from not having to pay in city, county and state income tax.

I have left for last this tax advantage, which is the most obvious economic reason Fortune 50 companies and individual families are moving from Los Angeles to Dallas. A fourth generation Angelenos family who belongs to the most prestigious Los Angeles beach club, have their children in the finest preparatory schools, and live in a beautiful home told me they will enjoy escaping the high taxes, but it is the quality of life Dallas offers that they are really seeking. They are excited about schools that are open, restaurants they can go to, friendly, optimistic neighbors, blue skies, a sense of freedom and robust opportunities.

The pandemic brought everything into hyper-focus. Californians who a few years ago were tempted to leave for economic reasons decided to leave now to live in a city their family would enjoy. Those arriving in Dallas are not coming here with doubt or trepidation, but with excitement and enthusiasm to begin life in Dallas that offers so much of what California offered families moving there a generation or two ago.

For the next 30 years Dallas will be the city that leads the way in Organic Urbanism and the aesthetic and economic opportunities it provides. The pattern of migration to and from cities has evolved for 200 years. Technology increases the fluidity of where people live and simultaneously allows a greater intimacy and connectivity with neighbors and the community.

The recent rapid evolution of migration patterns and a heightened sense of how technology changes our living patterns put many cities in peril and reward other cities that make people a priority over outdated policy.

Welcome to Dallas!

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