Tulsa Offers $10K to Relocating Remote Workers

November 19, 2018

The city of Tulsa, Okla., is offering $10,000 to remote workers who are willing to move there, joining the ranks of other cities who are using such an incentive to appeal to young would-be residents. Metros in Indiana, Ohio, and Nebraska—along with the entire state of Maine—also are offering cash incentives to incoming residents.

Tulsa, Okla.

© Sean Pavone - iStock/Getty Images Plus

The Tulsa deal includes $2,500 toward relocation costs, a $500 monthly stipend, and a $1,500 bonus upon reaching one year of residency. New residents can qualify if they are a full-time remote worker or self-employed outside of the state. Those who get a job in Tulsa and relocate don’t qualify. “I suspect that they don’t want to be subsidizing people who come here and would otherwise be competing for jobs with local people,” Gene Perry, director of strategy and communications at the Oklahoma Policy Institute, told CBS News.

Remote workers are a growing subset of the workforce, and they have more freedom to choose where to live. Sixty-three percent of companies have at least one employee who works remotely, according to a 2018 Upwork report. Further, managers in charge of hiring at their firms predict that over the next 10 years, 38 percent of their full-time employees will work mostly remotely.

The George Kaiser Family Foundation is completely funding the Tulsa program. It expects to spend somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000 in 2019 on 20 to 25 program recipients, although it has placed no caps on how many it will fund.

Several states and cities have been offering relocation buyers financial incentives, including paying off student loan debt. For example, Vermont is offering $10,000 to cover moving expenses for those who relocate there from another state. In Hamilton, Ohio, city officials launched “Relocate to Hamilton” and are offering $5,000 to help pay off student loans for new residents. In Grant County, Ind., city officials will pay $5,000 toward home costs. North Platte, Neb., will pay up to $10,000 to those who move there for a job. And in 2016, the state of Maine launched an ad campaign called “Visit For a Week, Stay for a Lifetime” to get more people to call Maine home. Those who visit Maine on vacation and then move there could be eligible to get their vacation expenses recouped.