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People are bailing out of San Francisco, but not the Bay Area

Uploaded: Mar 11, 2021
Much has been written in the last year about families and companies bailing out of high-cost California and the Bay Area in particular.
Two recent studies have shown something different. People are rushing out of urban areas such as San Francisco, but most are not going beyond the broader 11-county Bay Area. The non-partisan California Policy Lab at UC Berkeley used data from quarterly credit and residency reports to arrive at that conclusion. A San Francisco Chronicle article used data from change of address forms from the U.S. Postal Service and came to a similar conclusion.
Exits from San Francisco from late March 2020 until year-end soared by 649% compared to 2019. The report showed 38,800 people leaving the City by the Bay compared to 5,200 in 2019. About two-thirds of the people remained in the Bay Area, while counties in the Sierra Nevada and Northern California showed huge increases in former Bay Area residents ranging from 50% to more than 100%.
The statewide trend showed a change in the fourth quarter of 2020 when 267,000 people left the state and only 128,000 moved in. The movers leaving the state has grown slightly to 18% from 16% since 2015 and that trend continued in 2020.
For state government bureaucrats, the survey noted no dramatic difference in departures based on household wealth. There have been well publicized departures of some wealthy folks, but this report determined that was not a trend.
The Chronicle report showed similar trends. The top six destinations for people leaving San Francisco were Bay Area counties, topped by Alameda County.
The trends in business relocations has the Bay Area Council very concerned. The council has been advocating at the state and regional level to bring business to the table because San Francisco voters passed two anti-business measures last fall and the Democrat-dominated Legislature is hardly business friendly.
The council has formed a group to work on improving the business climate in the state by addressing homelessness, high taxes and other negatives that are sending companies out of state. The coalition is charged by Clint Reilly of San Francisco. Reilly is a real estate investor as well as owner of several media properties.
The goal is to raise millions of dollars to support their initiatives including an advertising campaign stressing the greatness of California. They could start with improving government efficiency in San Francisco. Lee Ohanian of the Hoover Institute wrote this week about San Francisco, pointing out that the budget is $15,650 per capita, about 40% higher than New York City.
That’s truly stunning, but it leads to absurdities such as the city paying $61,000 annually to house formerly homeless people in tents. The city’s current budget for its Dept. of Homeless and Supportive Housing is $852 million, more than the city of Sacramento’s total budget of $650 million for more than 500,000 residents.
The city estimates there are 8,000 homeless people there which works out to $106,500 in city costs per person.
Thanks to Ohanian for pointing this out. It just causes you to shake your head and realize how over-staffed San Francisco must be. It certainly doesn’t have more unionized employees than New York—both cities are wall-to-wall with public and private unions.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Mar 11, 2021 at 10:01 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

Maybe if SF and the Bay area would smarten up and vote for republicans maybe the stench of failed democrat liberal ways would begin to cease and real progress could be achieved.

Posted by Dirk Svensen, a resident of Country Fair,
on Mar 11, 2021 at 10:44 am

Dirk Svensen is a registered user.

Excellent summation of people and family trends here. It would be interesting to have a similar discussion focused on business movement.

For those having moved out of a metropolitan area, they may be interested in following the developments of New California State ( They are focused on creating a more business and family-friendly (and efficient) state. Unlike previous statehood attempts, NCS plans on following the constitutionally-prescribed approach to better ensure success. It separates from the major metro areas so that each may pursue its own priorities (e.g., social justice versus family and business-friendly).

Posted by Claudette McDermott, a resident of Del Prado,
on Mar 15, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Claudette McDermott is a registered user.

"The council has formed a group to work on improving the business climate in the state by addressing homelessness, high taxes and other negatives that are sending companies out of state. "

**Part of the problem is that Businesses have found many ways NOT to pay their fair share of taxes, so the middle class has to pay much more than their fair share. Giving more advantages to businesses just to hang on to them does not feel fair to the working class. And when did homelessness send companies out of the state? Big Business needs to pay more taxes so that money can go into budgeting for homelessness and such. Perhaps give homeless people jobs so they can afford a home. There's an idea!

"...absurdities such as the city paying $61,000 annually to house formerly homeless people in tents."

**That's some pretty expensive Tents... Who is the city buying them from?

"The city estimates there are 8,000 homeless people there which works out to $106,500 in city costs per person."

**Lets' see $106,500 x 8,000 = $852,000,000 hmmmmmmm

This article, brings up more questions than answers...for the reader. Just saying ~ and I know it's not just me.

Considering the Pandemic (responsible for loss of jobs & lives) and closures that were necessary for public health (life & death) this past year, just about all of 2020, the Bay Area has ALWAYS been a HIGH cost of living location, WITHOUT cost of living wage increases TO KEEP UP with it...

It's no wonder people leave and try too find a less expensive environment to live in, while trying to keep their existing jobs. Hence the HORRID TRAFFIC congestion in the Bay Area on Freeways, highways, neighborhoods AND public transportation.

Posted by CWM, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Mar 15, 2021 at 4:02 pm

CWM is a registered user.

Claudette - I love it when people say that "Big Business needs to pay more taxes" and that the wealthy and businesses need "to pay their fair share of taxes".
What exactly is the "fair share" they should pay in taxes? What is their fair share versus YOUR fair share?? I find it interesting that you (and others) want to tax someone that has become "wealthy" through hard work at a higher rate than you pay just to support some crack addict living on the streets of Oakland or San Francisco. I think it is at the very least the slippery slope into socialism.

Please just put out for all to see what the wealthy fair share is versus your fair share. Is the idea to tax them until they come down to your level of net worth?? Just want to clarify what "fair share" means.

Posted by Kevin, a resident of Castlewood,
on Mar 18, 2021 at 7:38 pm

Kevin is a registered user.

Claudette is right! The rich and big corporations hire lawyers and lobbyists to pay less taxes and create loopholes that they can manipulate. It is not her job to tell you CWM what is a fair tax. It is the responsibility of elected state and federal governments. They not only favor the rich and big corporations, they also mishandle the money that we give them. Where is the accountability? Both Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by Paul Clark, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 18, 2021 at 8:10 pm

Paul Clark is a registered user.

CWM- I would take your comments directed at Claudette a step further. This "fair share" business has always been a Liberal "talking point" because it fits with their narrative that somehow the people in this world who have failed to gain a measure of success "deserve" to be cared for (with someone elses's money), and conversely, those who have managed to create wealth from the "opportunities that a free country afforded them" somehow need to "pony up" what they term "their fair share" because of their success. It's the "Robin Hood form" of government, and it plays to those whom they determine to be "the needy!"
But the whole nonsensical mess walks completely around the matter of who really pays. Our businesses already are saddled with taxes that are greater than in most of the rest of the world, and as we should expect, in order to remain in business, they must pass those costs on to their customers (i.e. the average Joes who buy their products or use their services). So the "fair shares" of the wealthy are really paid ultimately by the very people who think somehow "the rich owe them." We have progressive taxation, so "the rich" already pay larger percentages of their incomes than "the poor." But somehow, the fact that they are still rich, bothers Liberals, who fail to realize that it's the rich folks provide jobs for the less fortunate. I think that "fair share" wouid end up being every last dime the rich had if it were possible for it to be taken from them.

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