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More People Leaving Pricey California For Tax-Free Nevada Lifestyle

CLEAR CREEK, Nev. (KPIX) - There is a tree-lined stretch of Highway 50 that is familiar to many Bay Area residents. But for more and more people, this ride has become part of their final journey out of the state.

"We refer to it as a mass exodus out of California," says Georgia Chase, Director of Sales for Clear Creek Tahoe.

The final destination? Nevada. Clear Creek, Tahoe, located just outside Carson City, to be exact.

The new private community features an 18-hole golf course, resort-style amenities including a pool and gym, and its open space includes more than 850 acres of permanently protected land.

But Clear Creek is also marketing something that can't be captured in beautiful brochures.

"We promote the tax advantages that Nevada offers," says Chase.

Clear Creek wants home buyers to take advantage of a tax-free Nevada residency. There is no state income tax and Douglas County features the lowest property taxes in Nevada.

California has the highest taxes in the nation and the new federal tax law that limits state and local tax deductions to $10,000 dollars has people crossing state lines.

Of the 83 lots sold so far, more than half of the buyers here are from California. About 40 percent of all buyers are from the Bay Area.

"It is bittersweet for them. A lot of them they don't want to leave and it is hard for them but they're just at the breaking point of disgust and that is really how most of them feel -- so frustrated with the regulations and the policies, that they work so hard and they have to give so much money up," says Chase.

A recent report by found expensive housing costs are driving people out of state. Top destinations include Arizona, Texas, Idaho and Nevada.

Residents of Clear Creek from California aren't totally leaving the state behind. They all have access to the Twin Pines Lake and Ski House, located here in South Lake Tahoe. It's about a 30-minute drive from the residential community.

Clear Creek residents also have access to a private beach and can enjoy amenities year round, including a shuttle to Heavenly Ski Resort nearby.

"With golf and tennis and access to the lake and so on, we have to believe there are going to be plenty of like-minded people," say Susie and Jamie Williamson.

The couple are from San Ramon and were among the first buyers at Clear Creek. For nearly 25 years, they've lived in San Ramon and raised their three kids there. They've all left the Bay Area for Texas and a cheaper cost of living.

"Just with the overall cost of living and the tax situation, and really the inability of our kids to be able to afford to live here, as well," says Jamie. "So they've immigrated out of the state. We're really just trying to conserve our resources for the long haul and it's just a very expensive place to live."

Their home has since tripled in value and is worth upwards of a million dollars. They plan to cash out.

The Williamsons are building their custom retirement home in Nevada. They say they'll be saving tens of thousands of dollars by relocating to Nevada, after Jamie retires as a business manager for a Livermore-based tech company in a few years.

The lots themselves range from $300,000 to $1.8 million, averaging about 1.5 acres.

For the Williamsons, it's not just about the dollars.

"Just to get out of the rat race that's the Bay Area," says Jamie. "As we said the traffic, just to go shopping on the weekends, if I'm working and I only have the weekends to run errands there's just crowds everywhere. Then we go up to the mountains and it's just 'ahhhh'."

It's about the less taxing lifestyle.

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