Right when you think that we’ve talked it absolutely to death, the Wall Street Journal had to go and breathe life into the corpse of the Amazon HQ2 story. But wait! Do all of these fancy pie charts mean what we think they mean? Is Dallas proper about to get the crown after finding ourselves at first runner up too many times?
According to the numbers (I’m not great at math, so I’m going to trust them a bit here), the big draw for Big D is all business — available labor, low taxes, and relatively affordable cost of living (for now, at least). Big points for meeting Amazon half way with college population and cultural fit (Dallas County is blue, y’all). But when it comes to fiscal health, we got low marks.
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) November 14, 2017
Color me surprised to see that Dallas had big marks on both “college population” and “cultural fit” categories, but I was not really shocked to see the low scores for “fiscal health.” This covers, according to analysts at Green Street Advisors, “metrics including ratio of general fund balance to expenditures; ratio of pension contributions to total government-wide revenues; change in unemployment rate in 2015; and change in property values in 2015.”
I mean, to me, it’s like we’re always getting yanked back from the edge of financial collapse, but your mileage may vary. Regardless, we’re trying to do better, right? I mean, we just had an election where incredibly few people decided how to spend around a billion of your tax dollars, so we could use a return on that investment, OK?
Anyway, if you’re wondering who else made pretty high marks, Dallas beat Boston (No. 2), while D.C., Atlanta, and Seattle tied for third. Chicago and Denver were fourth and fifth, respectively, and tied for sixth are New York and Nashville. Austin came in seventh (!) with Minneapolis and Newark, N.J., at eighth and ninth.
Now, Dallas has an affordability problem in the short term — high price increases over a short period with wages not keeping up — will likely be extrapolated over a decade, making higher density living much more viable in the region. Follow the jobs, right? However, this epidemic of renters isn’t going anywhere any time soon.