Did you know that some cities and states will actually pay you to move there as a remote worker? Check out the growing number of locations in the United States offering incentives and grants for people who work remotely.

No metropolis is cheap. The upward living costs are only exacerbated by student loans and low salaries. Tech workers around the world want a good standard of living at low costs, and it seems like that’s exactly what governments and philanthropies of these cities and states would like them to have. 

If you would like to be supported for your move, enjoy some tax breaks, or benefit from student loan repayment assistance, here are some terrific places to consider.

Tulsa, Oklahoma 

One of the most popular remote work experiments is funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The Tulsa remote experiment advertises itself on its many benefits: “From cash and housing, to office space and community, we’ve got you covered.” Launched in 2018,  the competitive program promises those chosen $10,000 in installments over the span of a year, cheap housing, and a better quality of life. 

What’s on offer? Tight-knit community meets a population large enough to support world-class music and theatre, sports venues and one of the most impressive park systems in the country, including the recently opened $465 million Gathering Place, the website announces.

Apply here: https://tulsaremote.com/

Shoals, Alabama 

Northwest Alabama’s Remote Shoals is currently accepting applications for its remote employee incentive program. Like Tulsa, it offers $10,000 to make your move easier: 25% upfront to help with the costs of relocating, another 25% after your first 6 months in the Shoals, and the remaining 50% when you’ve completed your first year there. In addition to the affordable real-estate and lower cost of living, Shoals is also trying to lure remote workers through its “creative culture” or rich musical, cultural, and creative heritage. It’s home to a plethora of hit recording studios and the area boasts an incredible, year-round lineup of music and arts festivals. Interested?

Apply here: https://remoteshoals.com/

Vermont

Vermont’s initiative to attract remote workers is also the most sought-after. Apart from the obvious benefit of enjoying the local food movement and living healthy, living in Vermont can also pay you. If you’re a remote worker who qualifies, you can get up to $10,000 to live in Vermont as a disbursement over two years. But unlike other programs, you can claim it by raising expenses for your coworking space, computer equipment, and Internet service. While the applications are closed for this year, keep an eye out for future rounds: https://www.thinkvermont.com/live/

Georgia

The newest state getting in line to attract tech talent is Georgia. The Savannah Economic Development Authority, an organization that creates jobs and supports businesses in Georgia’s Chatham County, recently made a big announcement. If you choose to relocate to Chatham County with a minimum of a one-year lease or purchase property and live in the county for at least a month, you will be eligible to receive $2,000 for expenses like moving service charges, vehicle rentals, utility deposits and gas.

Apart from remote programs, other cities and states are offering a slew of benefits to nudge your move. 

Marne, Iowa

Marne is providing free land to new residents who want to build a house there. Located approximately an hour west of Des Moines, Marne claims to have high-speed internet, cable T.V., and phone services and they’re looking for a few new neighbors and friends. “We have a very nice park with playground equipment, a picnic shelter, restrooms, basketball court, and a baseball field”, the program website says.

Know more: https://www.marneiowa.com/marne-free-lots/

Newton, Iowa

There’s another place in Iowa offering housing benefits. If you’re thinking of building a house somewhere, Newton Iowa can offer some great benefits. Its “Housing Initiative” is looking out for “single-family homes beginning construction in the City of Newton in 2020 and 2021”. And the following incentives are on offer:

  • For homes valued at $180,000 or more, a $10,000 cash incentive and the Get to Know Newton Welcome Package.
  • For homes valued between $100,000 and $179,999.99; a $5,000 cash incentive and the Get to Know Newton Welcome Package. If you’d like to know more, click here.

Kansas

If you’ve always thought there’s something magical about rural life, Kansas is the place for you to be. It can help you live a peaceful, serene rural-environment life while lowering your cost of living and also helping you repay your student loans. If you decide to take up this sweet offer, you can benefit from: 

  • Kansas state income tax waivers for up to five years (sunsets 2021)
  • And as we said, Student loan repayments up to $15,000 over 5 years

Interested? Find out more here: https://www.kansascommerce.gov/programs-services/community-development/rural-opportunity-zones/

Maine

The Maine Educational Opportunity Tax Credit was initially planned as a programme to encourage residents to stay in the state after they graduated from a Maine College but it has since expanded to students who graduate from other states. While the benefits depend on when you graduated and whether you are from Maine or elsewhere, CNBC explains its attractive tax benefits: “People are able to subtract their total student loan payments over the year from their state income tax liability. So if you owe the state $2,000 in state income taxes and you paid $1,800 in student loans, you’ll owe Maine just $200.” 

As the COVID-19 pandemic drastically transforms how we work and live, expect many more cities and states to offer outstanding benefits for remote workers. Watch this space for developments. 


Where to next? Find month-to-month rentals across the globe on Anyplace.

Apekshita Varshney
Author

Apekshita is a journalist, creative writer and content strategist. She is passionate about cities, urban life and remote work. On the move since 2018, Apekshita has explored 15+ cities in India while working as a digital nomad.

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