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‘Welcome to Texas!’: Musk’s California Departure Stokes the States’ Rivalry

“I only miss Disneyland and my family,” said Ms. Bailey, 41, who relocated in 2017 from the Los Angeles area to Prosper, a fast-growing suburb of Dallas, and now runs a real estate business focused exclusively on bringing Californians to Texas.

During the pandemic, she said, she had only seen the trend accelerate, giving her even more reason to champion life in the Texas suburbs. She said she had built a 5,000-square-foot house near a crystal lagoon for about the selling price of her outdated, 1,500-square-foot home in Southern California, and that she felt more accepted for her conservative political views.

Since last year, her mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister have relocated to Texas. And Ms. Bailey said she had seen a flood of interest from small-business owners and truck drivers who she suggested were being driven away from California because of its laws and coronavirus restrictions on businesses.

“Yeah, we have nice weather, yeah there are beautiful beaches,” said Ms. Bailey, who is originally from Orange County, Calif., but felt she could not afford a relaxing quality of life in her home state. “You feel like you’re never going to get ahead.”

One particular draw to Texas is that it has no state income tax, though homeowners often pay higher property taxes. The real difference tends to show up in costs of living.

Mr. Musk, the bombastic head of Tesla and SpaceX, does not share the financial worries that have driven many out of California. In many ways, his move is symbolic.

Recently, he had clashed with public health officials in California over measures put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which included shutting down production at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area. He called restrictions to stop the spread of the virus “fascist” and predicted incorrectly in March that there would be almost no new cases in the country by the end of April.

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