Neighboring Californians – Should You Make the Move to Nevada?

California may seem like a destination spot to live for many great reasons – great coastal beach line, reasonable weather year round and the possibility to see celebrities – but it pales in fiscal comparison to its neighbor to the east, Nevada. Nevada has all the glamour and weather perks as California but what it lacks in coastline it makes up for by in total cost of living. Concerning issues like the average cost of square footage, average cost of living, property tax and income tax, it’s a wonder Nevada hasn’t already experienced a bigger influx of Californians.

California vs. Nevada's Cost of Living

Relaxed Tax Rates

Californians must shoulder the burden of one of the nation’s highest income tax rates – while Nevada has no personal income tax. California manages to subsist on incredibly high income, property and sales taxes, and Nevada gains the majority of its funding from gaming and sales tax.

Property taxes in California and Nevada are both relatively high when compared to the national average tax rate. While property tax is generally steeper in Nevada, property taxes there are capped at a 3% increase whereas California property tax can be levied and adjusted at rates higher than 3% – effectively increasing long-term costs of ownership.

Cost of Living

California’s average cost per square foot for residential land or property is a staggering $237, more than twice the average in Las Vegas, Nevada, which equals approximately $111 per square foot. The cost of living in California can be prohibitive to new homebuyers – with the the cost of a family starter home being nearly double in California when compared with a starter in Nevada. This higher housing cost is one factor that contributes to the substantially higher cost of living in California.

A cost of living analysis of Los Angeles and Las Vegas reveals that L.A. has a cost of living index of 123 compared to Las Vegas’ 105. This index includes a housing index (181 to 143), tax index (140 to 84) and healthcare index (79 to 104). Both the housing index and the tax index are much higher in Los Angeles than in Las Vegas, equating to an overall increase in cost of living in California.


California offers natural beauty, a progressive lifestyle, and abundant sunshine – but so does Nevada. With a stunning desert landscape, abundant entertainment venues, and a cost of living that is nearly half that of California, Nevada makes a lot of sense for any prospective resident, at any stage in life. Las Vegas is a terrific choice for anyone who is looking to buy a home and enjoy all of the benefits of a tax-friendly, naturally beautiful state.

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