With Taxes and Cost of Living Skyrocketing, More Californians are Packing Up and Leaving

Faced with the exorbitant rising costs of Bay Area living, Priya Govindarajan and Ajay Patel pack up their apartment in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday afternoon, June 9, 2016, preparing for their move to North Carolina. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Faced with the exorbitant rising costs of Bay Area living, Priya Govindarajan and Ajay Patel pack up their apartment in San Francisco, Calif., Thursday afternoon, June 9, 2016, preparing for their move to North Carolina. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

Living in San Jose, Kathleen Eaton seemingly had it all: a well-paying job, a home in a gated community, even the Bay Area’s temperate weather.

But enduring a daily grind that made her feel like a “gerbil on a wheel,” Eaton reached her limit.

Skyrocketing costs for housing, food and gasoline, along with the area’s insufferable gridlock, prompted the four-decade Bay Area resident to seek greener pastures — 2,000 miles away in Ohio.

“It was a struggle in California,” Eaton said. “It was a very difficult place to live. … It’s a vicious circle.”

Eaton is far from alone.

A growing number of Bay Area residents — besieged by home prices, worsening traffic, high taxes and a generally more expensive cost of living — believe life would be better just about anywhere else but here.

During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S., according to state Finance Department statistics. The so-called “net outward migration” was the largest since 2011, when 63,300 more people fled California than entered.

“The main factors are housing costs in many parts of the state, including coastal regions of California such as the Bay Area,” said Dan Hamilton, director of economics with the Economic Forecasting Center at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

“California has seen negative outward migration to other states for 22 of the last 25 years.”

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SOURCE: George Avalos
Mercury News