They Got Rich Off Uber and Lyft. Then They Moved to Low-Tax States.

Meet the semiretired millennials who left California for low-tax, low-stress places like Texas, as their former start-ups stampede toward the stock market.

Comments: 282

  1. All self-indulgence, and not a hint of giving back to the society that made them wealthy. Why am I not surprised?

  2. They lucked out and earned a pay grade above their level of competence. Now they struggle to find work that compensates them for a lifestyle they've grown accustomed to

  3. Society didn’t make them wealthy. They made themselves wealthy in the context of society. They don’t owe California another dime.

  4. @DRS The ancient Romans thanked the god of fortune when they “lucked out” in life. Today’s lucky aren’t happy unless they are making the lives of their employees miserable. If you don’t care about others or your country, society, or culture, you don’t owe them a dime. Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. These people are not civilized. It’s ruining the country.

  5. I can't blame them for leaving a high tax state after basically getting lucky. People with lots of money and just average people are leaving my home state of Connecticut because the taxes are getting out of hand and people don't want to support retired state workers collecting pensions most could only dream about.

  6. @Jack “I don’t want to support state workers collecting pensions I could only dream about”. State workers gave up the chance at much bigger earning for thirty years for a secure retirement, everyone is not an entrepreneurial type, but we certainly need teachers, police, firemen etc., sorry but I find criticizing them abhorrent.

  7. @Ted Agree, that comment is abhorrent. But we do read several such in the Comments section of any Times article having to do with income & personal economics. Wonder if Brian McM and his tech-Lucky White Millenial bro’s are reading the comments & thinking about how they come off here. Ironically, McM grew up in SLO with its excellent PUBLICLY FUNDED public schools.

  8. @Ted, The salaries were below market 45 years ago, not now. When Connecticut allowed collective bargaining for wages and benefits the salaries exploded. Many current retires paid 2 percent towards their pension and nothing for healthcare. They are now retired collecting pensions with a guaranteed minimum COLA of 2.5 percent regardless of actual inflation.

  9. This is very uninteresting and these people are uninteresting. People get lucky all the time...the question is what meaning will they extract from the rest of their lives.

  10. @Kyle lucky? maybe a bit. My guess these folks put in a lot of 80+ hour weeks. That's why they burnt out, and left, taxes being part of it, but not all of it. And why is it that California needs to have such an outlier tax rate that it makes successful people want to leave?

  11. @bx I lived in silicon valley and worked those hours and did lots of high impact work...most people do...these people just happened to be in the right's survivorship bias to think otherwise. Btw most people stay in California.

  12. @bx They got lucky because the stock took off. As the article says, their salaries were modest.

  13. While reducing taxes was once described by a Supreme Court justice as a "duty" living a life of self indulgence is not. Others, I hope are using the intelligence and creativity that earned them wealth to engage in charitable and political activity which will benefit the common good.

  14. It's not all about taxes, or even mostly about taxes. These folk aren't moving to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio or El Paso, many of which have lower property taxes than Austin. They're moving to Austin. Because they want to live in Austin. The real story might be how Austin natives are leaving to flee these California transplants.

  15. @J lawrence It's amazing that you know more than the writer of the article who actually talked to the people about why they move

  16. @J lawrence Not a native, but have been here 20 years. My wife and I have been ready to leave Austin (and TX) for several years, but just haven't found the right opportunity yet. Needless to say, Austin is not the awesome little town I fell in love with in the 90s.

  17. @J lawrence Amen!

  18. And Austin has become Silicone Valley (pun fully intended) Southwest with a cost of living that rivals the Bay Area, infrastructure that can't handle the huge population growth and guess what, lots and lots of tech bros droning about their start ups. While Texas may not have an income tax, the property taxes that make up the lost revenue are high. There's also the fact that everyone who moves here desperately tries to ignore that no matter how hip and progressive Austin appears to be, it's still surrounded by a very conservative state. I describe it as a tiny blue spot surrounded by a whole lotta crazy red.

  19. @Melvis Velour I have heard it called "a blueberry in a bowl of tomato soup". I used to love visiting Austin, but that was way back when the techies I knew there were looking to move to the Bay Area. Columbus seems like it could be a greatly watered-down version of the same political phenomenon, with much less weirdness, far fewer techies, and only one free bus route. One might say this happens in part because those that live in a state capital will naturally want that state capital to collect more money and do more with it - and the latter often means spend it specifically on them.

  20. @Alan AS much as you may wish it might happen, I think it's very doubtful that Columbus Ohio will become the next hip place to live.

  21. Austin has a ginormous state university in the city limits. State government is not really a major employer in TX. Our legislators only meet 120 days every 2 years. Income taxes at any level are unconstitutional, not just not enacted. It is not a recipe for runaway spending. Austin basically allows people that think themselves very cool to associate with people that also think they are cool. It is a big state. We have all kinds of people with weird ideas.

  22. This article is a sign of the times. Fortunate people in a few cities with booming economies and real estate markets are making the bulk of the money, and then — along with rich retirees — taking their wealth to low tax states with cheaper real estate. Can’t blame them, really. The politicians in high-tax states simply can’t bring themselves to lower taxes, perhaps fearing a race to the bottom. The federal government could act, however. Congress should raise taxes on higher incomes, though not to the extreme levels pushed by Warren and Sanders. But we could raise rates a bit and add new brackets, such as for income over $1 million a year. This would bring in badly needed revenues from these hard-working but lucky millennials, from absurdly-paid CEOs, and from the wizards of high finance.

  23. Why do you consider the millennials “lucky”? It seems to me that at times we as an older generation (me included) don’t give millennials credit. Creating the programs these companies use are extremely specialized. They worked hard, helped create something and moved on. Why do we judge them but don’t judge older people that inherited their money or made it when it was much easier to be successful? It’s something many of us do and was I hoping commenting to you might start people thinking differently about the younger generation.

  24. @Jen Thank you for bringing inheritance into the conversation. These people earned their wealth, unlike a lot of children born with silver spoons and inherited monies are nearly free of all taxes.

  25. This is a free country and people can live wherever they desire. No one owes income tax to a state on personal income that hasn't been earned yet. Tax the rich (and every other productive stratum of society) beyond what's equitable, and they can vote with their feet. Nothing wrong with that.

  26. Those high SF/CA taxes supported the high density urban city that enabled their businesses to grow and thrive.

  27. @john - And those businesses will continue to be taxed on their earnings in those states, which is appropriate and fair. I'm not even sure what you're suggesting as an alternative. That people be legally barred from relocating to a different state? That such people pay income tax to two states?? That people stop acting rationally in their long-term economic interests?

  28. @john Are you agreeing or disagreeing with Kevin?!?

  29. I thought California had a housing shortage. Won't these moves out of the state provide some relief?

  30. @Donna Gray It's not just a shortage of physical units, it's the price of them. And it's unlikely to provide any relief because a) the spaces they occupied and vacated cost more than those who are in crisis can afford and b) there are orders of magnitude more people who can't afford what's available then there are tech millionaires leaving the state.

  31. From the article; 1) People prefer lower taxes to higher taxes, 2) millennials like to occupy their time with video games, 3) a few financially lucky millennials, as presented, have aimless, unproductive lives post tech capital gains jackpot, 4) Texas is a nice place to live, 5) journalists can add validity to their point of view with the selection of a confirming study. Conclusion, humans are both economically rational and pleasure seeking creatures. Other conclusion, California is a high tax state and the cost/benefits of those taxes are different for different people. Taxation has consequences.

  32. People are products of their environment. By condoning if not encouraging this behavior, how are we ever going to get a healthy society, fair economy, or take care of the environment. The laissez-faire attitude towards greed that is part and parcel of American style Capitalism in the 21st century is truly an unprecedented threat to the planet and to basic notions of justice.

  33. @Byron Logic is a wonderful tool isn't it. So many people here try to deny it...

  34. I truly wish the New York Times would stop portraying Texas as a low tax state. We aren't. Our property taxes are so high that they lead to the dislocation of entire communities. That's something! I know state employees, not a rich class by any means, who pay $15,000 per year in property taxes on homes they've owned for years. If you are working and living in Austin, depending on your living situation, you could easily be paying an equivalent to ten to twenty percent of you income in property taxes, either directly or indirectly through rents.

  35. California transfers have been paying $15-$30k per year on property taxes and double that in state income taxes as well. So getting rid of state income taxes is a bargain and they don’t mind paying property taxes if the schools are good and the location desirable. Here in NJ we pay $34k per year in my household for property and state income taxes. That is the price we pay for good schools and to keep the salaries we have.

  36. If you can pay such obscenely high taxes, you have presumably achieved some measure of professional success, likely at the cost of at least four years and six figure college education. The government employees who feed at the trough of public service should not be riding on your coattails. You do not owe pothole fillers $50,000 salaries or cops six figure incomes or teachers million dollar pensions.

  37. @From Where I Sit Most teachers bore "the cost of at least four years and six figure college education" -- you're obviously not a teacher and don't value teachers' work as "professional success." Are cops not professionals? So what do you think should be a teacher's or a cop's salary? For that matter, what do you allow a pothole-filler's work to be worth?

  38. Lo yet another cause of the housing, gentrification, and affordability crisis that has hefted its burden on local Austinites who struggle to understand what has happened to the culture of our city. We’re a far cry from the sleepy college town of twenty years ago, and the city is lagging in responding to its influx of new residents, who, from a native’s perspective, seem to only want to consume everything the city can offer them without giving anything back.

  39. All income should be taxed as ordinary income. Lower rates for “investors” hurts the whole country as we are starving the treasury for no reason. In addition these guys should not be able to put their pre IPO stock into Roth IRAs. The US has a revenue problem and lower taxes paid by investors is one of the reasons we don’t have healthcare for all and modern infrastructure.

  40. @Deirdre It is easy to make incorrect conclusions by looking at outliers, as this case is. Investment income is taxed at a lower rate for the following reasons: 1. Whereas earned labor income is paid 99.9% of the time, investment income is at risk. Over 80% of startups fail. UBER and Lyft are extreme outliers in terms of going public for many billions. 2. The tax on investment income is unlimited, but the deduction on investment losses is limited. 3. Investment income is taxed on the nominal gain, rather than the inflation-adjusted gain.

  41. @Deirdre The US does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.

  42. Making all that money at an early age sure is stressful! Welcome to the millennial generation....

  43. Are none of these beyond lucky individuals engaged with helping others in the community who served their country in uniform, pave our roads, dig ditches or teach school? The article portrays them as aimless, greedy and bored.

  44. @Ed I think most people in uniform would settle for tech workers not boycotting government contracts their company wants to sign up for that will help keep them from getting killed.

  45. So these techies help fuel affordable housing crises which mainly impact blue collar working people and the lower middle class families in California then up and move to avoid a large tax bill to the very state that helped build their wealth, then wind up creating affordable housing crisis in cities like Austin. The only way to stop this is to get rid of realtors and the real estate lobby and consider putting a cap on housing costs based on sq footage.

  46. The fact that they also complain about the “tech bubble” culture that results from the concentration of startups in places like San Francisco is similarly frustrating. They don’t seem to recognize that their presence is what pushes residents out of formerly diverse neighborhoods and creates the monoculture of Silicon Valley. It is frustrating to me that between these high-earning employees and their employers, none have yet taken any form of responsibility for the housing crisis they have shaped. Moving away to avoid state taxes that could hopefully benefit those working to solve such crises is just further evidence of greed and self-serving efforts to avoid responsibility and guilt.

  47. @Issy You blame the techies for creating the affordable housing crisis in California, but give them no credit for relieving it there when they leave. That's not logical.

  48. @Concerned Reader Like the ISIS members that our government eliminates, there are plenty more to take their place.

  49. All our taxes are higher, all our public services are lower, when the wealthy don’t pay their taxes.

  50. @Skutch I don’t understand the implicit derision. These folks aren’t tax cheats. They won the tech lotto, made enough money they could functionally retire to places with lower costs of living, and did so. I strongly believe that income inequality poses a significant danger to democracy. But I also believe that problem stems primarily from generational wealth transfers, not these “one off’ millionaires who are aberrations compared to the far greater number of folks who work hard for a tech startup that goes belly-up. I’m no libertarian and certainly no Republican. I am no believer in crony capitalism or tax welfare for the 1%. But I do believe that if you are lucky enough to find a good entrepreneurial employment situation and it pays off, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your risk. There is an important distinction between tax evasion and tax avoidance that people need to accept before branding folks scofflaws or societal miscreants. If you don’t like the current tax laws, change them. But generically attacking the wealthy for not paying taxes smacks of sour grapes, not nuanced public policy.

  51. No, this is wrong. Pay the taxes where the money was earned. I bet California law changes in response to this. And if it does, good.

  52. Well, since Lyft has cumulatively lost well over a billion dollars, they have not earned any profit anywhere. Someone gave them a peace of paper 5 years ago, it was worthless until 2 weeks ago and then it suddenly became valuable. California does not have any claim.

  53. Wow, I'm disgusted by what I read here. Young, healthy and wealthy people who decide to live only for themself by depriving society of taxes they rightly should pay.

  54. “... Depriving society of the taxes they should rightly pay.” This comment reads like it was written by someone who never worked hard to earn anything for themselves. Society does not ‘have a right’ to his tax dollars - or mine or yours for that matter. The entire idea that the government, society or the collective has a right to the fruits of an individuals labor - or even just good fortune is offensive. This country was founded in large part by people looking to escape oppressive taxation and this guy seems no different. I’m pretty sure there was a big party in Boston a couple hundred years ago that had to do with tea and taxes, if I remember correctly. If you want to be critical of this guy for protecting his wealth, I hope you are first in line with your checkbook to fulfill your April 15 obligations.

  55. Sorry Mole Hill, This country was not founded by people fleeing taxation. They were fleeing taxation without representation Did they forget to teach you that in school? There's a reason wealth is created in California, and not in 45 other states, Those Uber & Lyft companies were grown while these individuals were living in, and working in California. Not Texas. Not Utah. Not Montana.

  56. @Beezelbulby They also taught me that the government that governs least governs best. Did they forget that part of the lesson in your schools? There was also a bunch of stuff about liberty vs. death, not being treaded upon, and rugged individualism. One can but applaud the rationality of these people who go where the money is, both to make it in the first place and to keep it once made.

  57. It should be noted that one doesn’t have to be a tech millionaire in order to retire early. It’s a matter of embracing frugality and determining that have a high savings rate. I know of several people who have retired early on modest income’s. It takes focus determination and a little bit of luck. Never discount the element of luck. It’s easy to confuse luck with smarts.

  58. There’s something fundamentally wrong with an economic system that provides outsized rewards to “platform” designers who create applications in which the only real value is to ease access to workers whose labor is the real value proposition to the customer. Think about this — Uber and Lyft drivers do almost all the work and bear virtually all the expense (buying, insuring and maintaining their vehicles, and driving the customers), while the platform owners (designers and shareholders) receive the bulk of the revenue. And as if all this weren’t bad enough, we have an administration in DC that then accepts the argument that these drivers shouldn’t even be treated as employees — and so aren’t entitled to the meager benefits and protections that our government hasn’t yet taken away from employees! It’s little wonder then that people are so despairing of the status quo that they’re willing to consider any alternative — a major factor in the election of Trump, 30% of whose voters (according to exit polls) thought was unfit to be president.

  59. @Cinclow20 Excellent assessment of a terrible situation. Workers, unite. Support other workers.

  60. They were part of building a better mousetrap and so, investors beat a path to their proverbial doors. Working smarter often pays better than working harder.

  61. @From Where I Sit When all the "smart" people have made all their profits off the work of the not so smart people who are burdened with huge health care bills and other costs of living, whom will the "smart" people have left to exploit? Maybe the "smart" people will start fighting each other in a new Game of Thrones? None of the people in this article sounds like a Bill Gates in the making.

  62. If they're retired and living off investments they're already paying less in taxes since dividend and and capital gains are taxed at much lower rates than regular income.

  63. Everyone company and person of means should evacuate these high tax areas. We have a moral obligation to do whatever it takes to pay the lowest amount of tax possible.

  64. @Simon taxes are the foundation of our social contract to pool our wealth periodically for the greater good of society with decisions made on how to allocate the resources by elected representatives. I gladly pay taxes assessed and even though we have no state income tax Washington State has significant levies for all sorts of governmental purposes. Fine with me, glad to pay it. Tax complainers like yourself are the ones who lack morality and ethics.

  65. I hope these newly minted millionaires take the time to personally thank their Uber driver, who makes $9.50 and hour.

  66. Why? These people did intellectual work and were smart to get in early and get options. The Uber driver didn’t. They deserve every penny. The Uber driver deserves his 9.50 or whatever he agrees to work for. Let the Uber driver get a job in a tech start up and take his chances. Or get the education necessary to do so. Come on, man.

  67. @DRS Not everyone can be a coder. Should that doom them to a life of poverty?

  68. Typical liberal false equivalency. None of the drivers, to my knowledge, put in years of long days using the high priced college education they’d EARNED to build a company from the ground up. No, the drivers joined late in the game and failed at their attempted extortion yesterday.

  69. "Several had made vanity purchases, such as Teslas." What a peculiar sentence. Would you say "Several had made vanity purchases, such as Audis"? The price range is pretty similar.

  70. @Enid That struck me as odd also as my spouse and I are considering a Tesla and we usually buy used cars and drive them for over 10 years. Purchase criteria are environmental impact and safety.

  71. While I am not usually impressed by the values and choices many millenials make, I applaud those taking their wealth and income to lower tax states. High tax state politicians have for decades had the support and subsidy of the federal tax code which effectively paid 25% - 35% of the state income taxes they levied. That has spurred massive spending by those state politicians. Much of that spending has been corrupt or wasteful or extravagant. Even when the state spending is efficient and honest and for important services, there is no just reason why the people of other states should pay for those services delivered to the residents of the taxing state. As example, look at the wide variation in per student public school spending per state (even compare just instruction expense to ignore capital expenditure on expensive buildings). New York spends about TWICE as much as most other states. Does it have twice as good public school education results? Something needs to be done to curb wasteful or corrupt or extravagant state spending. High income people moving out of high tax states will have a beneficial effect. Ending the incentive for higher tax states that federal tax deduction provides will accelerate the exodus of high income people from high tax states.

  72. @Errol I wonder why people like you, who applaud the removal of SALT deductions, do not also argue for a significant Estate Tax. SALT deductions protect those who live in high tax states from "double taxation," since the money given to a State as State taxes isn't really income to be taxed by the Feds. If it is income, then we should also have high Estate Taxes, since that money is certainly less a "double tax" than the state money. The money transferred to an Heir via an Estate was taxed on the original Earner (sometimes, not in many cases like capital gains) but is certainly "new income" to the next generation.

  73. When many of the hugely profitable tech corporations in California do not pay Federal Income taxes, the state suffers because the federal govt cannot help maintaining and improving the massive infrastructure that is needed to support those companies and all of it that comes with it. The state has to raise its own taxes to make up for it. Why do tech companies not move to lower tax states in droves? Because the infrastructure is not sufficient. And when they finally will, those places will have to raise taxes as well or reduce service to the less affluent, something that has been happening in.... Texas.

  74. @Ben I do support high estate taxes. I oppose deductions for donations to so-called charities (many non-profits are not really "charity", don't really focus on those of very limited means). I think your double taxation argument is invalid. Taxation of corporate dividends is double taxation. Taxation of income that is spent on state/local taxes is not. Consider, many state/local government services could be performed by private companies. If they were, then the payments to those companies would not normally be deductible (I am not arguing for or against privatization....I am just illustrating relative to your double taxation argument).

  75. Back in Horatio Alger days making it from rags to riches was considered heroic and inspiring. Today, apparently it is regarded as degeneration and the first step to demonic possession. Just imagine people making a few million and then moving to where that money will buy more. Tsk, tsk!

  76. Massachusetts is poised to impose a so-called “millionaires tax”, thus adding to its onerous tax burden. Next step, a graduated income tax. And thus, like neighboring Connecticut, the exodus will continue. MA is a state of roughly 6 million residents, with a $42 Billion annual state budget, and massive tax free state pension and gold plated health care liabilities for the protected “public employee” class. Not sustainable.

  77. @John Ramey yep. One of the reasons we left Massachusetts for Virginia, (along with weather and cost of living). We get amazingly more for our money in Richmond compared to Boston, and give up nothing in city life compared to the South End.

  78. @John Ramey And yet, the Massachusetts economy is flourishing. So, it's not all about taxes.

  79. I love Richmond, the Fan especially... but Richmond ain't Boston. I wish it were true.

  80. Folks who move from state to state within the U.S. should be aware that family law, which governs their outcomes after a divorce or custody/child support lawsuit, is completely different from state to state. California offers lifetime alimony jurisdiction and unlimited child support revenue by formula. Texas generally offers no alimony to a plaintiff, and child support is capped at about $20,000 per year for one child. Nevada defaults to 50/50 shared parenting and the child support cap is even lower. The same words, e.g., "divorce", are used in these different states, but they're referring to more or less unrelated systems of law.

  81. Texas is a community property state. Couples split everything down the middle. That is why alimony is not a big thing here. Coupled with 40 per cent plus divorce rate, it is also why we have a lot of rich divorcées.

  82. @Michael Blazin California is also a community property state, with, absent a prenuptial agreement (itself possibly subject to legal challenges), 50/50 property division for anything acquired during the marriage. That a California divorce lawsuit can lead to a lifetime of alimony following the 50/50 property division while a Texas divorce ends with the 50/50 division shows how vast is the difference in the value of a divorce lawsuit when moving from state to state.

  83. I guess that they listened to the experts about how to reduce their taxes. Every year around tax time, I hear or read information about how to legally reduce the amount that I will pay as taxes. But I have never heard of any of those giving this advice being prosecuted for any criminal wrongdoing or for advising taxpayers to do something illegal. Therefore, I guess that it’s OK to plan and act properly so that you can pay less.

  84. @Richard Winchester Well said. So much resentment on this thread. While I can't account for everyone in the industry, my personal experience of the tech community is of a highly conscious bunch seeking to simultaneously do right by their community and families. They're incredibly hard workers, often incredibly stressed out, and just seeking an exit from an often unsustainable pace. Tech workers are not Enron.

  85. @Richard Winchester - It's not taxes themselves but how our tax money is spent. Roads, bridges, etc., OK, but giving my hard earned money to layabouts and illegal immigrants is not OK. If you feed them they will come.

  86. If it is not illegal, then you do not face prosecution. Moving to another state is not illegal. These people are not buying a shack in the Panhandle, and telling their broker to register their shares in TX. They are likely in the lock up period. Taking time to check off the TX boxes and then sell shares after lock up ends. Nothing illegal here.

  87. Did not get the sense that taxes were the top motivator for these guys, but rather they needed to get away from tech culture and its 24/7 lifestyle. I made a similar move 20 years ago from a big west coast city to the south—and not for tax reasons but for overall cost of living. I would have never done this if id had children in schools, because the schools down here are substandard. This move made me more financially solvent (no longer hemorrhaging money) but I do have regrets. I miss the people and the cultural offerings and public transit. Nashvillle is a fine city in a dreadful state. Our legislators are working hard to drag us back to 1840. Low tax = no services, but the know-nothing, science-hating mentality is the hardest thing of all. My kids live in NY and they won’t move here and I’m not encouraging it because they need to educate their kids in a state that doesn’t believe that public education needs to be destroyed.

  88. @MaryC You can't find cultural offerings in Nashville?! Perhaps you should have said you can't find 'big west coast city' cultural offerings that are to your tastes. You are a prime example of why transplants cause us locals so much heartburn. You relish the lower cost of living but continue to expect what you left behind. You wanted to stop hemorrhaging money. Well, what do you think was funding the public transport, services and schools that you miss?

  89. People are smart to organize their lives to minimize taxes owed. The Democratic candidates for president have released their taxes and all paid the minimum they owed. Even candidates who have called for a 70 percent marginal tax rate take every possible deduction and only pay 25 percent in taxes. You would think they would want to set the right example and pay 70 percent, but no. Shows how much people value government services that worldwide people try to minimize taxes.

  90. That's not how taxes work, you can't simply "donate" more money to the government. You can not take as many deductions sure but the amount of money given to the government wouldn't come anywhere near 70 percent.

  91. @Rudi Weinberg Yes, you can. Just carry forward your overpayments indefinitely. And while you are at it, make the US Treasury the sole beneficiary of your estate. I have a wealthy colleague who doing just that.

  92. @Rick Using your logic, conservatives who detest federal spending would set a good example by demanding that no government funds go to their congressional districts.

  93. No surprise. For years, New Yorkers have been moving to Florida to retire. That's in part because of the favorable taxes there.

  94. The vast majority of new generation business founders “Got Rich Off” the same model that has been being used at least since the 19th century — making fortunes off “labor cost displacement” and being ‘creatively destructive’ in finding new and better way to hide and dump ‘negative externality costs’ on others.

  95. Perhaps high tax states should wake up and smell the reality. Driving away wealthy and/or productive citizens ain't working out for NY or CT or CA. It is mighty expensive to live in those places. And, gotta pay an extra big tax check for the privilege? Sunny southern states are looking good to many.

  96. @Joe Yoh An economist would say the reason CA, NY and CT are expensive and southern states are cheap is that those states are perceived as more desirable than the southern states. There are more, higher paying jobs in CA, NY and CT than in AL, MS, or TN, etc. The big question is why the southern states persist in staying poor. The vote republican year after year and stay poorer than the states that vote democratic year after year. Even TX with its vast oil wealth ranks 23 in average income, while CA, NY and CT are 10, 16, and 6 on average income. It is true that many seniors bail out to states with lower taxes after retirement, but the high paying jobs just aren't there in places like FL (39th). Is it just that schools are really bad in the southern states (they are not that great in NY), or is something else about the way the states are governed?

  97. @Joe Yoh Being African American, the "sunny southern states" are never going to look good to me. My people fled them over 100 years ago. Ain't going back.

  98. @Maloyo56 - But a surprising number of middle-class blacks have moved to the south in the past 20 years. This is what has made cities like Atlanta.

  99. "Some declined to speak on the record, citing concerns that talking frankly about their finances would hurt their chances with future tech employers, or make them audit targets." Not to mention expose themselves as self-involved jerks who don’t care to give back to the local culture that helped them get wealthy. Where have we heard that before?

  100. Earthquake and potable water risks alone are more than enough justification to leave CA. NH is so much a better place to live!

  101. Yes, because the weather in NH is so much better than CA. Not!

  102. California made them rich, time to give something back to California.

  103. @Joe they gave every year they lived there ...all any state can ask . all these articles in the past few years re: Rust Belt communities in crisis got multi responses in this same side of the screen " just move " Can't these folks do the same ?

  104. @Joe -- California didn't 'make' them rich, they made California wealthy by the taxes they paid

  105. @Joe They did so by leaving

  106. How nice for these highly educated, healthy, and most likely, hard working, people (because that's what we all are regardless of incomes) for this flexibility due to their wealth. I think about Texas' high maternal death rate during childbirth amongst poor women of color. It is the one of the highest of western industrialized countries. Low taxes vs. minimal health care and economic inequality: is there no compromise?

  107. @Di Arn Do you have any proof about a link between low taxes and maternal death rates or is this something that liberals tell themselves to make them feel better about being fleeced by their municipalities and states? According to a USA today survey Texas is not in the bottom five states for maternal deaths although New Jersey, no stranger to high taxes, makes this dubious list. Does that mean that New Jersey’s maternal death rate is among “one of the highest of western industrialized countries”?

  108. @Di Arn — Not to mention Texas’ well-known criminal INjustice system. Remember when BushJr refused to allow or pay for DNA exams for 113 Death Row inmates. 113! That is inhumane. All were subsequently executed. Ive lived there; it’s a pit for anyone who cares about social justice, racial equity or fairness. Great roads, though. (Snark)

  109. Newly arrived Tech Bros in Austin, doing their best to keep Austin un-Weird. Thanks Bros, you've done us all a big favor by flushing out all the old hippies. Keep on, geekin' on!

  110. As a person who's worked for 35 years and is hoping to take Social Security in the next two years--and who has read story after story berating Boomers for being selfish sociopaths-- I found myself wondering if these millennials see the irony in haranguing folks my age for wanting to retire from the workforce and in their minds, leech off younger generations, while in essence doing the same thing, with far more means than me. I doubt I've totalled $3M over my entire working life sans foosball tables.

  111. I know what it feels like. Been there and done that. I am no tech millionaire but a long time oil patch worker. Now 70, after Caltech education, I joined Getty in Los Angeles late 70's when the pilot patch was going thru boom times - our dot com exuberance. Later, Getty transferred me to Kuwait. During annual vacations - we saw what awaited us if we came back to California. Our cracker box house in Ventura - we could never afford to repurchase. The commute to LA was worse and of course, despite Prop 13 - taxes were going up. That nightmare helped us decide to sell everything in California. After several years overseas in many countries, we sleep well not thinking we are in stressful California. As we say in Texas "I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could." My only hope is these newest transplants leave their la la land politics at our borders and contribute to making Texas great.

  112. @Neil Many others feel precisely the way you do. However, they remain silent because they are ostracized for not supporting a Democratic Socialist position.

  113. @Neil A good friend served as corporate counsel to one of the last oil companies headquartered here. When the company decided to move to Texas, she refused to follow despite promised bonuses totaling more than many make in a year. A Northern European immigrant who first landed in Texas as an au pair, she said no amount of money could convince her to return, especially because of its increasingly regressive politics and religious extremism. So, don’t worry; the feeling is mutual among those of us who know and understand the cavernous differences between the two states.

  114. They flee to Texas with high taxes on purchases and high property taxes - and state property with oil income. Welcome, folks. My forefathers figured it out almost two centuries ago when the original government made the mistake of inviting them to move here - in the days before air conditioning.

  115. @Post motherhood I neglected to mention that we, the descendants of those wily immigrants, always move out of Texas for at least a decade after college to some fabulous hip spot - but we come back because this is a great place to rear children.

  116. @Post motherhood That’s funny, my mom and dad met in El Paso and while dad had good prospects for work as an engineer in Texas, he didn’t want to start the family there. “Too flat, too dry, and I’m not just talking about the landscape...The future is California”, he said. And, at 87, he recently reconfirmed his feelings at his birthday party when he joked, “Be thankful for the wisdom of your old dad. You all could have ended up as Texans.”

  117. The people who most need lower taxes, your postman, your teacher, your waiter can't flee higher taxes and expenses unless they can start anew. One of San Francisco's cable car drivers lives close to Sacramento. The time and expense of commuting is horrendous.

  118. @Vickie So why don't they move to lower tax places just like the people in this article did? They are choosing to stay in SF.

  119. The real migration is middle class families moving to Texas. If you are a teacher, postman, police officer, etc., we have plenty of good jobs, you will likely buy your home and your kids have a good choice of schools to select. While we accept everybody, California can keep its millionaires if it really needs them. No big deal on that one.

  120. What? Are you sure? All I ever hear is that the founders of these start-ups are doing it because they have a passion to solve some problem most of us are unaware we even have. "Did you know that if every pair of shoes Americans own was recycled, we'd be able to shoe every human and animal in the world? Did you know it would have over 90 trillion barrels of oil a week?" And then...low and behold, they reach the apex of their goal...enabling the shoe'ing of the world, and they cash in and then out. It's almost as if their stated goal of making the world a better place wasn't why they really pursued their passion. I would almost assume it was about just another high consumption conspicuously wealthy lifestyle. Oh, and I bumped into that crowd at Harvard...but I was there because of my passion to build homes for every ex-coal miner in West Virginia.

  121. I’ll take “No Duh” for $100 Alex. You mean to tell me that when people are taxes into oblivion, they they they move to lower, or non-tax areas? Today the NYT learned what the Laffer Curve is.

  122. “Most of the people The Times spoke to were putting their new wealth to use, buying houses and planning vacations.” Of course, because the idea of donating to charity or using the money for anything that could help others must be alien to these egotistic tax evaders.

  123. There are many types of wealth, and the truly wealthy don’t move from San Francisco to Texas, even to save on their taxes. A few extra bucks in your pocket and then what have you got? You’re still in Texas...

  124. Hmmm, TX or NYC? I'll take TX every time.

  125. @h king chalk up another "win" for NYC.

  126. Spot on comment! I tell my mother every year (who lives in Texas) that I would rather live in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco than move to Dallas. (if you're not familiar with San Francisco, the Tenderloin is where most of the heroin addicts are walking around the streets.)

  127. Yes Texas doesn't have an income tax but property taxes have been rising. I love it here but the state has issues that are glossed over. Just Google all will see!!

  128. I don’t understand the point of this article. Is the Times saying people shouldn’t get rich off of investments and then go live in low stress places? Feels like an advocacy piece for socialism to me.

  129. Wow. While many in the world starve we have those that don’t pay the taxes they should. Put your education and minds to solving some of those problems.

  130. @Kate What taxes they "should"??

  131. Rich or not, I’ll never live in a state that denies health care to poor women, executes innocent people and now wants to make it illegal to drive people to the polls.

  132. @Mike Yeah, not only that, with these younger folks, I'm guessing they're not going to have children unless they plan to send them all to private school. The Texas public education system is not exactly stellar about teaching history and science truthfully -- not the fault of the teachers -- but politicians who let their religion and prejudice interfere with what is taught, what materials are used, etc. Also, there are some issues with special education down there that the feds are involved in. Albeit, it's a self-selected group but the Texan ex-pats I knew were glad to be out of there.

  133. Wouldn't It Be Nice World Without loopholes

  134. We should all be wise to the Times by now. They publish these articles so that we, the overworked, over-taxed, clean-living proletariat, can rend our second-hand clothes and virtuously decry the folly of the other half. Last week we were tut-tutting over a handful of boomers who sold their houses in the suburbs to pay high rents in Manhattan. This week we are vivisecting a few millennials who moved to Austin to avoid high taxes. No doubt next week our paper of record will conduct a survey on Central Park carriage horses who have retired to the lush pastures of upstate New York, and at least some among us will write in to condemn the privileged few who made it to the top, while the rank and file are still stuck eating Trader Joe oats in Midtown.

  135. @CML - fair enough. we are getting triggered admittedly. But enough about that, please see my article on page four of the times... "Millennials Take Selfies In Front of Orphans Begging"

  136. @CML An astute view of the all encompassing media using psychological tactics to create a slave population. Oh, I am sooooo looking forward to seeing Anya refuse the Iron Throne.

  137. So let me get this straight: - Tech workers move to San Francisco and drive up the rents, forcing people to leave. - They make tons of money but instead of giving back they keep all their money and flee. - They then move to a different state and spend their time watching basketball and playing video games. What a waste of space! And the greed and narcissism is astounding.

  138. @JS27 As long as this 'I am only for myself' attitude that is not always friendly to the idea of the greater good of the society prevails, there will never be shortage of Trump club Republicans! I would love to hear their view of how 'business man' Trump played his 'sport' with the tax man as is evident from the recently published article on his tax returns. But you never know - once these young people pay off their college loans and realize their basic American dream, may be they will be more generous and less conservative socially! There is always that hope!

  139. Couldn't agree more! And as someone who has lived in San Francisco for 20 years and has seen all of this unfold firsthand, you are spot on in your description.

  140. Paper millionaires. There were lots of those pre dot com bubble too. I will gladly pay CA ‘s taxes in order to be able to live here. The people leaving will find out soon enough that a low tax state also means inadequate services.

  141. @Dani Weber ummmm.....not. We recently left SF specifically due to the ridiculous taxes and fees that were not coupled with promised services. That California is falling apart is widely held knowledge. How's that gas tax working out? Garbage everywhere. Filthy streets and sidewalks. Ever been (or attempted) to DMV? That's just the beginning of the list. We now live in a no-tax state that manages to provide adequate services.

  142. @Dani Weber what kind of services does california have that millionaires arent getting in texas?

  143. Who would live in Texas when they could live in California no matter what the taxes are?

  144. People who are tired of paying the bulk of the tax burden to support the majority of citizens who pay little or nothing.

  145. Smart people.

  146. have you even been to TX? fine state with friendly people.

  147. Traitors! They ought to have to still pay taxes in the states that made them rich. Texas? Great state! No need for Los Angeles or Manhattan tax dodgers.

  148. @Manhattan What?!? Why? Taxes aren't based on that despite whatever you think "should" be. And you call them "traitors". Ludicrous.

  149. good for them! too much taxes in Calif. For what? what do they get for the highest tax in the hemisphere? i decided to move to Fl. 30 yrs ago to avoid NYC and NYS theft of income taxes.

  150. “He said he ...said he briefly became a cryptocurrency millionaire before the crypto market crashed in early 2018.” :smh:

  151. The Times needs to do a story on the tens of thousands of people that "move" to low tax states. This idea that they actually spend more than half a year in Texas or Florida is more myth than actuality. I was a school teacher in NJ and many teachers buy a cheap condo in 55+ Florida community and live there only for three or four winter Winter months. This fake address stuff has to stop.

  152. @Gerard Iannelli- how about saying that this high tax nonsense driven by out-of-control public spending and irresponsible government (e.g. in NY and NJ) has to stop? My wife and I regularly vote Democratic but are totally disilluisoned by the state of affairs here. We intend to move down south to a low-tax state ourselves when we retire (in about 10 years). We will sell our million-dollar home on which we pay $25,000 a year in taxes (along with paying NJ's income tax). A similar home in Georgia or Texas will cost us approx. $7,000 to $8,000 in property taxes. Not to mention that our retirement income won't be taxed there, unlike in NJ or NY.

  153. @Gerard Iannelli Sorry but it takes more than that. You have to vote there, register your car, etc. And some states like Mass. review credit card activity.

  154. It is not that difficult as long as you check off the right boxes. These days you can get correspondence sent anywhere. If you get driver’s license, register to vote, have a home, and get your retirement portfolio addressed in low tax state, you are covered if you stay under the 180 day threshold. One drawback appears as you cannot claim resident/homestead status for property tax in high tax state. Many states have discounts for true residents. Qualifying for homestead status will save big bucks. Keeping property in high tax state as non-resident puts a bite on your wallet. One other good deal in Texas is that sales tax is deductible. All states that do not have income tax enjoy this Federal tax provision. Unfortunately those deductions are part of the SALT cap. Paying property taxes in 2 states may not leave room.

  155. When I lived in Paris, I met US retired expats pursuing their dreams of painting, music, writing etc., living in a place surrounded by beauty. One lady had even run away with the postman for one last hurrah on the Île Saint-Louis. "The Avengers" in three days? Two college football games at once? Overseas location to Singapore? Overall, millenials depress me deeply.

  156. And they say the word “like” about three times a sentence.

  157. @Bella Wilfer So what makes you think Paris is so much better than Singapore and painting/music is superior to watching movies/football games? Real snobbishness on its finest display

  158. @Bella Wilfer, Sounds a little eurocentric. What, exactly, is wrong with Singapore?

  159. Time for the blue state tax and spend democrats to wake up. Soon there will be no one left for them to gauge. The same thing is happening in my home state of CT. No state is entitled to its residents. They compete for residents just like companies compete for workers and customers. Here's a crazy idea, actually incentivise people to stay in your state and everyone benefits. "Oh the rich are so greedy." It's called being smart. And anyone making over $250k, paying 50%+ annual tax understands they are paying way more than their fair share.

  160. My wife and I left the Bay Area when I retired from a fairly normal non-tech career at 58. It wasn't taxes that drove this move. We didn't even know Nevada lacked an income tax. It was simply to build a new life different from the one we'd had, in a small town located in the mountains and desert we love. The Bay Area was a great place to work and in Palo Alto where we had lived there were excellent public schools that made it a good place to raise our son. But with work and parenting behind us the Bay Area's disadvantages loomed larger. Yes, traffic, crowding and cost, but it was really more about the culture as tech's dominance grew steadily. I've always been more comfortable around under-achievers and began to tire of the (supposedly) uber smart two professional households that came to dominate. Frankly, their high opinion of themselves often wasn't warranted. We now live in an area where the dominant culture is friendliness and modesty and where the small town ranching heritage typical of the inter-mountain west still has great influence. Few PhDs, lots of pick-up trucks. I don't fit in with the politics but I like everything else, from the four season climate to easy access to the outdoors to conversations that are just about commonplace things to the constant acknowledgment of each other with a wave, a nod of the head or a hello as we go about our days. And we hope the Sierra Nevada mountains continue to prove a barrier to the Bay Area's relentless creep eastward.

  161. @Terry Congratulations on doing taking steps to live a sane life, connected to community, outdoors and neighbors (something forgotten in our modern world). Care to enlighten us as to the area you have moved to? Good luck,

  162. Amen, @Terry! Well put. Our quality of life improved dramatically after leaving SF and relocating to the desert.

  163. @Terry I'm glad it worked out for you and your wife. I will say as a minority woman, there are areas of this country -- including probably near you (I've been to Nevada and also worked short-term in rural areas) -- that would either feel unsafe or unwelcoming to people like me or for that matter, anyone who sticks out from the American mainstream in nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc. So people stay in urban/ suburban areas not necessarily because it's their natural preference but also for reasons of safety and familiarity. I happen to like urban areas and I also grew up around mountains/ forests (Seattle has both) but this is a topic my and my friends who aren't in the mainstream or have mixed-race children sometimes talk about. It is surprising to my friend who are in the mainstream -- i.e. ostensibly White, sometimes Christian, etc.

  164. How many rich Wall St brokers and investment bankers live in NJ or Conn to avoid taxes? People move in and out of the Bay Area every day. Silicon Valley investors are no different than Wall St investors.

  165. @David - Actually, the taxes in New Jersey are higher than New York! If you live outside of NYC, the max rate in NY is 8.8% vs. 9.3% in New Jersey.

  166. You don’t avoid high taxes by going to NJ or CT. They are the only state in the union they can make New York look cheaper. They both have sky high property taxes and income tax burdens. Additionally, the cost of real estate is in sane across the entire tri-state area. Middle class people from the entire tri-state area are fleeing in droves to lower tax states to the south and mountain west. Rich people go to the south and mountain west as well but get a bigger house. In New Jersey, the typical two bedroom apartment just across the river from New York City cost more than $1 million. At least, in the kind of neighborhood where someone with enough cash flow would want to buy. You can sell that apartment and move to Texas for a five bedroom four bathroom house. You will still have enough money left over for many cars and boats.

  167. @David How do you avoid taxes living in New Jersey?

  168. So these millennialaires seem to be de-camping en masse from the Bay Area to Austin, where they seek some new zen. In the process, they are turning Austin in to a mini Bay Area which they just left. Quickly rising housing prices coming their way! (Pity the long-term Austin residents who can't afford their city anymore.)

  169. That ship sailed in Austin a long time ago.

  170. This is the same thing that many elderly people do when they retire. Move to Florida, Arizona or similar place to lessen their tax burden. The only difference is it took them 40 years to accumulate their wealth, instead of 5-10 like these tech brats. Yet we don't go around bashing the elderly for skipping out on paying taxes where they lived for 40 years? What would serve better is not the skipping town, "retiring" and living a playboy lifestyle (1 month in japan, buying out a movie theatre for the latest pop culture hit)-- but a continued commitment to doing something productive or benefiting the community. How about working on bringing technology to more youth, fixing the housing issue in SF, or working in public sector to benefit the community. 100 hours playing video games is great for, about 100 hours.. then what?

  171. I commend their work and wealth acquirement skills. Moving to a low tax state is a no brainer if you have the means to do so. Only issue I have is that they tend to vote for luny politicians whom will move to raise taxes and implement policies similar to that of the taxation cesspools they moved away from.

  172. Texas has dealt with the Austin enclave for decades. Austin gets to complain about the rest of the state, claim it is cooler, enjoy the lower taxes and cost of living, and have little impact on the rest of the state. We all just get along.

  173. I don't understand why the article and comments vilify these people. The headline implies they moved because of the taxes, but the article is clear that other factors motivated their decisions. They seem genuinely refreshed to get away from the SF's culture. The city has an exorbitant cost of living because of housing shortages. If millionaires move out, the city would become more affordable for everyone else.

  174. @Bill, Taxes cannot be all of the answer. Texas has the 3rd highest property taxes in the nation and is close to having the highest sales tax, so it is more of a "wash" in taxes than most people realize. Housing costs in Austin are also very high, so it is about a great deal more than taxes. As long as they vote blue and help turn Texas purple, they are welcome to move east!

  175. @SW. As a native Texan and one who spent my college days in Austin, I can assure you that Austin has always been an anomaly in the State. Texas is red and always will be.

  176. @SWLibrarian property and sales taxes are regressive and calling it a wash is naive and, from a tax standpoint, simply not true.

  177. From the looks and brief description of his new daily routine in Austin, my millennial children would call McMullen a “tool”. These stories enforce the stereotype of the millennial: self-centered and absorbed by technology. Not all millennial's spend their days in bars watching basketball, playing video games, and eating Tacos.

  178. @Brian Kramer Hey, leave tacos out of this!

  179. None of these guys said they were taking career breaks forever. But speaking as someone who had a high-stress job in finance, I understand the burnout and taking the opportunity to recharge. I have taken a couple of career breaks and retired early, and no that doesn’t make me a lazy or bad person. I am an engaged citizen who has done lots of volunteer work, paid taxes, given to charity, and raised 2 wonderful beings. So let’s not judge these successful tech bros too harshly - they’re still young and making choices some are far too timid or status-conscious to make!

  180. @Brian Kramer 'Greed. I'm curious to know what their actual skill set is, including social, and how diverse? They like the "one-hit-wonders" in old Top 40, combo of lucky and good once, then nostalgia and future sterility. What these gents gonna do when the cash runs dry?? Couple millions don't run that long no more.

  181. Not one of these tech bros mentioned volunteering or donating some of their wealth. If they’re not going to give back by paying their fair share of taxes, it’s the least they could do.

  182. @J. L. Lipp What does paying their "fair share" of taxes mean? They should pay what YOU determine they pay? There is no mention of them doing anything illegal, which is what "fair share" is.

  183. @J. L. Lipp what they do with their earned income is not your decision to make. The worked for years paying 50% taxes. Be happy with the scraps you get because you are not entitled to any scraps at all.

  184. I think these moves have more to do with Real Estate prices than taxes.

  185. @Karyn Probably both factors.

  186. Government of the people, but by the rich, and FOR the rich. This will not end well.

  187. The main thought that came to my mind was not so much about how these individuals got wealthy or where they moved but the fact that the IRS has steadily lost staff over the years. The NYT just published an article about this on May 3rd which explained that the IRS has fewer auditors now than in 1953. The tax laws need a real overhaul to eliminate all the loopholes and special treatments given to a select few and the IRS needs enough employees to ensure that people and corporations really do pay their fair share.

  188. What would more IRS staff do here? These people are not evading US taxes. They just choose a little lifestyle so they can legally recognize gains in a location. People are not allowed to move?

  189. @Michael Blazin It’s about state taxes, not the feds.

  190. It’s trivial, but very illustrative: wanting to rent an entire screening of an incredibly popular movie showtime out for just you and your friends, thereby depriving a few hundred other people of the opportunity to enjoy the humble pleasures of a movie, just because you can. Says a lot about character.

  191. Honestly I prefer to be poor, working and fulfilled than rich and playing video games and watching sports all day!

  192. As people say in Texas, bless your heart on that one.

  193. And, this tendency is exacerbated by Trump’s corporate tax reduction that essentially eliminated the deduction for state income and property taxes. Hopefully, these transplanted Bay Areans will at least bring some political energy with them to Texas.

  194. Articles like these show why we desperately need to change the tax laws. Funding someone's diet, exercise, or meditation does nothing for the good of the greater society. An extra 10 or 20 percent off these character's incomes wouldn't affect them much, and would help fund libraries, roads, parks and transportation.

  195. Good riddance! While these tech-bros were in SF they lived in their offices and Google buses with their headphones on, never venturing out to cultural aspects of SF that make it an interesting place to live. There still is amazing local artists, writers and musicians in this town and if you know where to look bohemian enclaves. I have been to Austin. The traffic is worse that SF. Good riddance I say!

  196. I laugh at these repeated tales of an "exodus" from California. Folks: we have 40million people here. If a few leave, they are soon replaced by new people. No state suits all of the diverse residents of OUR country. I love visiting many states, but I call California home. I do not bash other states-- why do people in others bash mine? Taxes are just part of our lifestyle that includes great weather; natural beauty of astonishing variety; wonderful local food, wine, and beer; an interesting meld of people from all over the world: a shared commitment to great public spaces, from trails to parks to libraries; culturally rich cities like SF and charming small towns ready to surprise each visitor. Why the piling on?

  197. @karen The only net migration into CA is illegal immigrants.

  198. Aren't these the liberal-leaning techies who frequently condemn the south for every possible social injustice? And yet when it suits their needs, they pack their bags and flee to low tax southern states. As far as I'm concerned, people can shelter their incomes in any legal way they see fit. But don't move someplace where you are a poor fit and then complain about the politics, the schools or lack of services. Many comments here have done just that. High taxes are what pay for those things you moved away from. States such as CA believe in social services and tax in order to provide them. Priorities are different in low tax states as are the life styles. So revel in the slower pace, the fact that you can look up and actually see the stars, or that it doesn't take 2 hours to go 10 miles. I live in WV because it is rural, lacks a Starbucks on every other corner and the people are kind. Moving here means accepting that.

  199. They move to Austin since that city considers itself a liberal enclave within a conservative state. They really do not change much in lifestyle or people they can interact from the Bay Area. In Texas, we take all kinds.

  200. As noted in the article... despite the title of the article.. it is NOT income taxes that drive them away... it is the stress-crush of constantly being on the go and in the know in the SF community of techies. Lower income taxes is more gravy then substance for the wealthy. Even here in Silicon Valley south of SF... techies generally look down on SF as a pretentious bromance community of people stuck on themselves. It is actually difficult for some SF tech companies to recruit from Silicon Valley, which is just 40 minutes south. From a total tax view perspective... California is not that bad actually compared to other states. Oregon is much worse overall in terms of tax friendliness. For California, more of it's tax base is progressive in nature too then states like Texas.

  201. @Chuck you missed the bus, if you cash in on the money you spent working 100 hours a week for you get hosed the progress is not there for the hard working techie. When the wealth leaves the state is that really progress? Vt has the same brain and cash drain. If you set up the system so that money and brains leave what are you left with? Less is not more

  202. @Andy A number of objective studies on the question of wealth drain from millionaires leaving California to avoid taxes has found... it is mostly a myth. California is the 5th largest economy in the world... and people (including the wealthy) can and do stay in California because they like the way the state is run and everything it has to offer. So.. give a rest. I live in California, Silicon Valley to be specfic. You live in Vermont. Who do you think has a better handle on what is going in inside California??

  203. I lived in the San Francisco during the first tech boom. Thankfully it was still quite livable. By the time I left (and no, I did not and never became a multi-millionaire, because only a handful actually do but they're the ones making all news) I could no longer find another affordable apartment. All that time I'd wished there were more high tech jobs in SF because I don't drive, and I couldn't see myself in Silicon Valley. Little did I know that my wish would come true, and instead destroy the city and culture I loved. The problem, as reflected in these moves, regardless of the specific reason, is that we have been unable so far to combine the availability of work with a quality of life (inc. affordability) in the same location. Communities providing the former typically have high taxes to provide the needed services that encourage businesses, large and small, as well as education and transportation. Then either the community is strained by people coming in, or those wanting to pay fewer taxes or get away from the city move away - but not always that far; Here in Massachusetts, where there is both high and bio tech, people move to New Hampshire but continue to work in the state - taking advantage of what taxpayers here provide, as well as the jobs, without having to pay the local taxes; I suppose they 'pay' with a long commute. At least Mr McMullen is no longer attempting to have it both ways, but that's because he no longer needs to work.

  204. A bathtub in the middle of a bedroom? Wow, I would definitely move out of state for that!

  205. @Jim Bob Even Kramer (in Seinfeld) didn't move when he bought his hot tub. He understood the value of community.

  206. I have plenty of friends who worked in the public sector in NYC... cops, firemen, sanitation, et al, who, while working, chose to live in LI or NJ instead of NYC, their employer, for a better quality of life. Once they put in their time and retired, many fled NY to no-tax Florida, all while collecting pensions paid for buy all of us NY'ers, to enjoy a lower cost of living. I see no difference between them and anyone else who chooses to leave a high tax state, whether they are millennials or retirees. So maybe also point your fingers at the public sector before you chastise a few kids who hit the jackpot.

  207. The real story here is that even with a million dollars in your pocket you can’t buy a decent home in San Francisco. Well unless you get a mortgage for the other million or so it will cost you ... and keep working ... At least these burned out 30 year olds have a choice. Pity the poor teachers and nurses and artists and librarians and on and on ... they don’t have a chance.

  208. We don’t need to wonder how Trump got to be president any longer.

  209. Why do you assume they voted for Trump? From my experience, many NJ/NY’ers moving to Austin, Nashville, Denver etc are still thoughtful liberal progressive-minded people.

  210. Wait a minute! I thought liberal millennials want and support the idea of paying their fair share and support the idea of higher taxes make society economically equal by spreading the wealth.

  211. Having fun taking from other people. No innovation, no exceptional talent. Just rip off the taxi drivers, the cities, the regulations. No thought of now paying a fair share of their unearned income. You can see it in the empty far away stares In the pictures. No idea why their here other than the American myth of more makes you more! Of what...who cares...I can fly half way across he world for a movie opening. Lemmings following Trump.

  212. Their lives sound pretty boring, they may have money, but no idea of how to live.

  213. Well it’s good they are not buying up houses here. We don’t need anymore competition for housing. The costs are too great. Good for them. Maybe if they’re good people they will shine a lite in Texas or Florida.

  214. High property taxes, high sales tax...both regressive taxes on the middle/low income Texans. Added to this thread bare social services. This is a hard state to live in if you aren't rich.

  215. We have millions of thriving middle class families with more coming in every day. Texas does not really care too much about a few millionaires moving to the state. They do not do much for the state. When corporations like Toyota and State Farm transfer tens of thousands of middle managers here, they make the state better and their employees’ wallets bigger while saving money at corporate level.

  216. Reading this while their drivers are striking to earn a living wage is making me sick.

  217. @Tony Gamino Exactly, which was my previous post to @Thomas

  218. This isn't anything new. Starting in 1849, the plan for many was 1. move to California, 2. get rich, 3. leave with your money for someplace cheaper to live. The unmentioned part of the traditional plan is leaving your mess behind when you leave.

  219. Nonsense. If they were really moving to reduce stress, they would have moved to another part of California. The reason that California and New York are losing so many newly rich millennials to Texas and Florida is taxes and the constant self defeating droning of "tax the rich" and "the rich are evil" coming from the left. I mean, what did you expect was going to happen?

  220. No, I have a friend moving from high-tax NJ to Nashville, which is a vibrant low-tax area, and it is clearly a much less stressful place to live (even with all the growth) than NJ/NYC. Shorter commutes, lower prices for entertainment and excellent music, art and food. A good trade!

  221. Uber's long term goal is far more nefarious than just exploiting low paid drivers. Their push for autonomous vehicles has but one goal: get rid of those drivers all together.

  222. @Thomas Currently Uber’s longterm plan seems to involve food delivery and scooters. But short term investors and founders will make a ton on the IPO and, if the histories of Lyft and Snap are any guide, then the stock will tank.

  223. @Thomas And that is wrong because? Can we shed a tear for all candlestick makers redundant by that nefarious Edison character? I will gladly take my chances with an autonomous vehicle that never takes its eyes off the road rather than a sleepy human any day of the week.

  224. Good for these people. They got what most salaries folks covet anyway. Good for them.

  225. Nauseating to see that not a single one of these “tech bros” made any mention of plans to trade even a fraction of their privilege for progress. Once again, a generation of white males make out like bandits in businesses that are wreaking havoc on the environment and the stability of low income jobs (last time I checked the ride-sharing business is NOT sustainable on any front), and have absolutely no self-awareness about the suffering going on around them, nor sense of community responsibility. Desperately hope we one day figure out how to inspire more social responsibility among this demographic.

  226. @Christina These guys are under no obligation to do any of the things you listed. Who are you to decide what they should or shouldn't do? Also, maybe just because there isn't any mention of it doesn't mean that they aren't doing any of the things that in your (unimportant) opinion people should be doing.

  227. Give them a break. They have only been there for a month. They are probably more concerned about moving than setting up a charitable foundation.

  228. Sounds like I touched a nerve there RFB. I graduated from Stanford with guys just like this, whom I’ve yet to see reinvest any of their millions back into the community, now over a decade past their early retirements. All white men who came from privileged backgrounds. You and I just disagree about the responsibility of privilege, and unfortunately it appears more people in the country align with you around that than they do with me. It is a sad state, in my (unimportant) opinion. Hopefully these young men will eventually discover that the fulfillment they are looking for may more likely come from social entrepreneurialism rather then venture capitalism. Who knows!

  229. Life ain't fair. I'm an old guy who spent 10 years post college getting my medical training (including two years as a shipboard medical officer mostly at sea in WESTPAC, and I wonder how many of these millionaires are veterans.). Once trained, my pay was limited by Medicare, insurance companies, and the $30-50K a year I wrote off because poor people couldn't pay, period, and I had to treat them both morally and legally (the 1986 EMTALA law.) Oh yes, if I made a mistake at 2 am, since I did take night call, I could be sued for everything I had and more. Life ain't fair. I made a good living, and while I worked 80-120 hour weeks, the government subsidized a lot of my training. Now 70, I volunteer everywhere I can in my community, from teaching math to clearing Cascade trails. I have long realized that the roads I drive on, the skies I occasionally fly in, the food I eat, the water I drink, the energy I use, was in large part created by infrastructure that the federal government decided we needed and taxed us for (more in blue states BTW.) It's nice that people who work hard get rewarded. But remember those who worked just as hard who never got those rewards. Life ain't fair. But don't ever think you did it all yourself. Almost everything around you is subsidized or made safer by regulations that were put in place because unregulated societies don't function well.

  230. @Mike S. Thank you for writing this and for all that you do. These grifters who take, take, take because they think infrastructure is something the little people pay for can move to red states for all I care. I was here long before California was a billionaire brotopia and will be when it’s over. We did fine with less money and less people then and will do so again. I recently took a drive up north along the coast and its jaw dropping beauty still brings tears to my eyes. My own drives through Texas (many, many in the north, center, and south since childhood) and Florida produce no similar reaction. And if they’re the kind of people who are just fine hanging around religious zealots who are at this moment passing legislation to create Gileads in each of those states, then good riddance. Let’s see if they’ll stay put when their kids come home spouting homophobia and racism or are themselves gay and bullied or their daughters get pregnant and can’t find a decent clinic. Want to bet they’ll be on the first plane back to a pro-choice doctor here?

  231. @Mike S. Sorry mate, but what's your point?

  232. @Mike S. Society that sets the floor too high and the ceiling too low are the ones that inevitably fail.

  233. In a rare super left moment for me, I’ll suggest these Uber and Lyft millionaires help support the cab drivers they put out of business..

  234. How much do the heirs of Henry Ford owe to the families of hostlers and buggy whip makers?

  235. @From Where I Sit Faster cab service versus a completely new technology are not equivalent.

  236. @Midwest Josh Yes. We must absolutely insist on reparations for decendents of luddites put out of work by those steam loom millionaires! They will get over it. We will get over it.

  237. I encourage these retirees, once they catch their breath, to use their money to support their new communities. Build affordable housing now that you have driven up the rental market. Build and fund a community center in addition to flying to Japan. Support the arts in your new home states in addition to flying to Caly for big movie premieres. I think you will find such activities and experiences will turn a huge profit not only for your communities, but for your personal level of happiness.

  238. @queryious Yeah...cuz this is Berkeley in 1968. Not.

  239. @queryious For many they are too busy showing off their new four-wheeled electric jewelry. Let us hope their children see the bigger picture while it's still possible.

  240. In my mid 60's, born in PA, worked for 35 years in CA and retired here. To some of us older folks, paying taxes is what makes our country what it is. Share the abundance and share the pain. It's a privilege to live in a beautiful state that leads the way on so many environmental and social issues. But to each his own!

  241. @From Where I Sit Oh yes, "your success" which just dropped from nowhere as a heavenly reward for talent. Nothing to do with luck, resources, or anything else. Why share it, when you deserve more than all the rest?

  242. Funny how this country was most prosperous and egalitarian when taxes were significantly higher than they are presently. You’re subscribing to the myth of “wealth = success,” which is complete nonsense. Look at these kids in this article - all wealthy, young, made some smart choices years ago, and are now dodging taxes from the place (CA) that allowed their very prosperity. And they’re sitting around playing video games.

  243. We demand that your wealth not be so egregious that it robs the system that allowed for it in the first place of the ability to function. It is a sign of dysfunction.

  244. The problem with moving from California to anywhere else is the damned humidity- especially in Austin.

  245. @Peter This Chicago native attended a family reunion in Austin a few years ago. The oppressive heat meant that I spent a good portion of the trip seeking out dark, cool spaces. Not for me!

  246. Enough of this. Uber and Lyft make money only because they don't pay for anything. The driver has to absorb the cost of the car, the gas, the cell phone. Enough of these con men. I say this as a driver who despite achieving "gold" status cannot pay for my cell phone. I am really sorry for my riders yesterday who were in my car when I ran out of gas. Uber and Lyft only works in states like Florida there isn't unemployment insurance anymore. I am tired of grifters. I waited two hours in the hot sun for a road ranger to come with gas.

  247. @Stanley I’m so sorry for your situation. I can’t imagine the bait and switch hell this rapacious company has created for you. THIS is why I’ll call a cab or walk before I use Uber or Lyft. That supposedly woke liberals and progressives still enthusiastically support these monsters who crush their workforce while their leaders retire rich to financially support red state rollback to the 19th Century is beyond any comprehension.

  248. @Stanley I agree about the method of generating Uber and Lyft revenue is one where they let the drivers absorb the true operating expenses. However, why would you let your vehicle run out of gas? How does that help you? What is a road ranger?

  249. @Stanley If it weren't for that gun that, whomever you drive for, being held against your head you could quit and work elsewhere.

  250. Just because they got rich did not make them stupid. Of course they left CA. Duh.

  251. Everyone tries to escape the brutality of capitalism, even the "winners". This is the result of a society that puts an emphasis on the bottom line over quality of life.

  252. Amazing! An article in The NY Times that says people dislike high taxes. Maybe Paul Krugman should read this one.

  253. Yes, tech Millennial millionaires, please do move to Austin. It will be your panacea. Keep telling yourself that. Repeat after me...”Austin is my panacea....Austin is my panacea...Austin is....”

  254. How about using your money and influence for wider good, fellas?

  255. Keep Austin Weird? Sigh. Just another generic boomtown now. Maybe you’ll be lucky and your town will be next.

  256. This is how high tax states are slowly killing themselves

  257. The high taxes provide the fertile soil that apparently supports and nurtures the start ups and then once they succeed they abandon the state. Just like all the big auto companies did to Detroit. Or how America lost its manufacturing businesses to Mexico and overseas. But you wish to blame America and the states for daring to create the conditions that created the wealth? Typical of the thinking that has led to our decline.

  258. @James Osborne It has more to do with the location of Stanford, UC Berkeley and Cal Tech than the “nurturing environment “.

  259. @Me: exactly. and why are those institutions located in California?

  260. Here is a shorter read of this article: “enough about me, what do you think about me?!”

  261. The shame is, they’re boring.

  262. So true. Travelling to watch the Avengers? Geeze.

  263. What’s up with the gender ratio in this article? This would have been good to discuss openly. Was the NYT filtering for men, or do the female programmers and early employees behave differently?

  264. @Scientist How many females like that exist?

  265. @Scientist I suspect the females were not adequately compensated so as to be able to retire at 33.

  266. @Scientist Good question about the women programmers. Either they were never employed by Uber (likely) or they feel some obligation to making their community better and they stick around and pay high taxes.

  267. Startups will grind you up and burn you out. No wonder they’ve moved on. I can’t blame them. I’ve worked in the “tech” industry in the Bay Area, in design, for over 20 years (though never at a startup). I’ve taken two career breaks to rest, enjoy life, the family and other interests, and recharge. I’ve never gotten rich off of any of my jobs, but I love what I do and I’ve never done it to get rich. But it can be grueling at times and you have to find ways to also pay attention to quality of life.

  268. One of the reasons CA income taxes are so high is because their property taxes are relatively low. Forty years ago, pre Prop 13, college was virtually free in CA. And what do the people of Austin think of their new residents?

  269. @Robert You actually think property taxes are low over here? Frankly it takes my breath away. I'm a NYC transplant (former NYC homeowner) living on the peninsula. I pay over $6K a year in real estate taxes for my 725 square foot apartment. And even with Prop 13 taxes are continually going up because the counties get around it by increasing fees for services. And of course, there is high income tax.

  270. I've lived in the Bay Area for 40 years. I've been reading stories about the supposed exodus from the area for all that time. Yet, somehow, housing prices keep going up and the population keeps increasing. The fact that a few rich folks don't like taxes doesn't seem newsworthy.

  271. Please don’t refer to Austin as “low-tax.” For those of us who own a house here, annual property taxes are almost as much as what we pay in mortgage fees.

  272. So it turns out these young liberal techies were closet conservatives after they got "theirs". Color me shocked. Lowest high school achievement in the union. Highest rate and amount of high school dropouts. Low taxes making for terrible schools. Highest number of minimum wage jobs. What's the use of fleeing "high" taxes to a place where you can't even send your kids to the schools. On an unrelated note these stocks are highly over valued and will quickly tank. Lyft is facing a class action suit and expect the same for uber for these ponzi-scheme valuations. Aced finance in college and I don't remember anything about companies losing billions seeing such ideal valuations. This is not going to end well so get your checkbooks out for the next bailout.

  273. its very simple folks...when pols learn to spend less and tell truths to their constituents, tell gov't employees that pensions and benefits are not a never ending candy jar, tell those here illegally that they cannot expect anything other than minimal services...then they will spend less tax less and people will leave's simple....

  274. .. moved to a low tax State That would rule out NY State, consisting of 3 wealthy island (NYC, LI, and Albany) floating in an otherwise decaying State , NYS Population 2015 19.6614 Million NYS Population 2018 19.5542 Million Texas Population 2015 27.4868 Million Texas Population 2018 28.1718 Million

  275. I’m happy to see the New Yorkers that only think about taxes leave. In the long run the state is better for it. Go and enjoy Texas! Don’t forget to bring your gun so you can deal with road rage.

  276. I am happy never to have used Uber or Lyft.

  277. The subtitle of this article says Texas is a "lower-stress" state. Huh? Please explain. Lower tax, perhaps. Lower housing prices, yes. But I live in high cost Portland OR and Texas sounds HIGH stress to me!

  278. Marie S: unfortunately Marie, Portland has evolved to a less attractive version of San Francisco, lots of homeless natives as highly paid techies and wealthy Asians swarmed the city and adding to the fight for a roof over ones head Portland has become a sanctuary city, go figure.

  279. They should all move to Texas and Florida before 2020 and vote. Me, Texas was too boring and humid. So I'll stay here, pay tax and lead the nation in fighting for the climate and single payer. And yes, I drive Tesla. This "vanity" can now be had for a little more than a loaded Camry and my operating cost has been a fat zero after 3 years and a cross country trip that included Austin.

  280. Wow, as a CA native who has lived in San Francisco for over 40 years, this article captures why so many of us in the city feel like it has become an island of the self-absorbed. Employed in a nonprofit that is actually doing something to "change the world", the tech companies are just the latest Gold Rush wave to use San Francisco to make money and leave. We find little investment by these companies in the San Francisco Bay Area communities despite Marc Benioff's encouragement and leadership, but then again, he's a native. Maybe when they grow up and have real adult responsibilities beyond their own needs will they understand that true satisfaction comes with relationships with real people outside of work and with building a community where you live. For me, I will be glad when this frat house of a city moves on.

  281. Anyone moving to Texass will get a rude awakening when they trade one stress with ten others. Weather is uninhabitable, except for some exceptions, food is abominable, everyone is armed and dangerous, drivers get their licenses from mail-ins from cereal boxes, tornadoes, hurricanes, fracking, poisonous snakes and equally poisonous politics. Need more? They can’t move back to civilization because their previous home is now unaffordable. Losers all.

  282. They are moving to Austin, not Dodge City.