Thursday, March 27, 2008

Texas is HOT!!!

The Census Bureau says that Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio were among the top ten fastest growing metro areas in the country. But I don't think the Texas state demographer's explanation is very complete, because it's very Texas-centric. He was quoted:
"People are running away from unaffordable housing, from the economic slowdown," said Karl Eschbach, a state demographer in Texas. "I would expect Texas to stay at the top of a slowing game."
I bet that people are actually coming because Texas promises the escape from two inevitabilities: death and taxes. I'd like to know how many migrants are baby boom retirees who are being pulled to the Sunbelt, rather than pushed by poor economies. The other big attraction of Texas, of course, is that there's no state income tax, so all your investment income won't be taxed. All the other states containing the top ten metro areas have state income taxes, but no other states had more than one metro area. Jake Bernstein at the Texas Observer has clued in to the demographic changes on the way in Texas, mainly increases in young Hispanics who need to be educated and provided health care, and how services are woefully underfunded.

How amenable do you think a political bloc of tax-escaping retirees is likely to be to a state income tax?

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