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HomeNewsCities and states are offering cash to remote workers who move

Cities and states are offering cash to remote workers who move


Due to the proliferation of remote work, some U.S. cities and states are spending money and other incentives to lure new residents.

Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers $10,000 to remote workers who move there. West Virginia is offering $12,000 and two years of free outdoor equipment rentals. Buy a home in southwestern Michigan and the state might help with $15,000.

However, experts warn that the programs often come with strict terms and conditions, saying anyone who wants to take advantage should read the fine print carefully before raising the stakes and moving on a whim.

Many of the relocation programs require applicants to already have a job by working remotely for a company based elsewhere, and sometimes the incentives are tied to purchasing a home in the area.

Due to the proliferation of remote work, some U.S. cities and states are spending money and other incentives to lure new residents

For cities, the goal is to fuel economic growth by attracting skilled, high-earning new residents to spend and pay local taxes.

And for employees, the right relocation program can provide an extra push to consider moving from expensive coastal cities to the more affordable environments of states like Kansas or Iowa.

National and regional relocation programs

Alaska has what might be considered the original relocation program: an annual cash dividend for all residents living in the state for more than a year.

The state’s Permanent Dividend Fund was established in 1979 and payments vary each year based on oil drilling revenue. Last year’s payment of $3,284 per resident was an all-time high.

In Alabamaoffers the northwestern part of the state known as the Shoals region full-time remote workers a $10,000 incentive to relocate.

Applicants at the Remote Shoals Program must earn a salary of at least $52,000 and live in one of the qualifying cities for one year: Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia.

West Virginia offers a statewide incentive program, offering $12,000 and free rental of outdoor equipment and co-working space to remote workers who move to the Mountain State.

To qualify for the full benefits via Climb West Virginiaapplicants must bring a remote job and reside in the state for at least two years.

In an effort to lure remote workers from Chicago, Michigan offers up to $15,000 for a new home and $5,000 in additional “benefits” for remote workers purchasing a home in the state’s southwest.

applicants for the Moving to Michigan program must be used entirely remotely and move from another state.

To qualify for the full benefits, you must purchase a home worth at least $200,000 in southwestern Michigan and enroll children in public schools for two years.

Arkansas also has a regional relocation program for the northwestern part of the state, including the cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville.

The Life works here program provides $10,000 to new Arkansas residents, who must be employed full-time and be at least 24 years old.

Vermont has a statewide relocation program, Think Vermontoffering up to $7,500 to people who take a new job in the state or bring an outside job.

However, the Vermont program is currently warning that it has more applicants than funding, a problem common to many relocation programs.

Cities with financial incentives for relocation

Tulasa, Oklahoma started in 2019 with a program called Tulsa Remote who offered a $10,000 grant, housing assistance, office space, and more.

When the pandemic hit, it saw a “massive surge in applications,” general manager Justin Harlan told Reuters last year.

Of the 60 people in 2019, the program raised 350 the following year, then 950 in 2021, he said, about half of them technicians and many from San Francisco and New York.

Harlan has said Tulsa Remote only accepted 3% of its 30,000 applicants in 2021, indicating how difficult it can be to see the payoffs of such programs

Topeka, Kansas has one of the richest programs in the country.

The Choose Topeka program provides up to $15,000 cash to new residents who take a full-time job and purchase a home in the area, or $10,000 for those renting.

For home workers, the cash incentive drops to $10,000 for homebuyers and $5,000 for those renting.

Newton, Iowa offers a $10,000 cash incentive to new residents who purchase a home valued at $190,000 or more through the Newton housing initiative.

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