Affordable Texas housing played a key role in Toyota’s 2014 decision to move 3,000 jobs from California to Texas. The housing issue was seen by employees as a big factor in their willingness to relocate from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas.
“It was really about affordable housing. That’s what started the conversation, Albert Niemi, Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University (SMU) told the Dallas Business Journal.
Niemi said Toyota held focus groups with employees and they said “We’re willing to move. We just want to live the American Dream.”
A study done by Toyota revealed their employees could live in Texas for about one-third the cost of housing in southern California. The Toyota employees kept the same salary levels. “So, in real terms they’re going to triple the affordability of housing they can buy if they move to Texas.
California Governor Jerry Brown was severely criticized for his failure to compete with Texas for the 3,000 Toyota jobs, according to a Breitbart California article by Robert Wilde.
“Today’s announcement is just the latest consequence of Gov. Brown’s continued failure to support California job creators – and middle-class workers are the ones whose livelihoods will be devastated as a result,” moderate Republican Neel Kashkari said at the time.
Real estate professor Chuck Dannis at SMU told the Dallas Business Journal that homes in north Texas are about three to four times the median income of workers. That compares to a Torrance, California, level of about seven times the median income.
Other factors that weighed in Texas’ favor was the state’s lack of an income tax, lower business regulations and a $40 million incentive offered by the state, the Business Insider reported.
The Toyota headquarters is expected to open in 2017. Eventually the facility is expected to employ nearly 5,000 workers.
Texas has consistently led the nation in job growth over the past decade. Now, the Lone Star State stands ready to strip California’s Silicone Valley of its lead in technology jobs, Chriss Street reported for Breitbart Texas last week.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.