Several states and cities have been offering relocation buyers financial incentives—including paying off student loan debt—to move there. Now Vermont joins the list.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law last week that will give certain people who relocate there from another state up to $10,000 to cover moving expenses. The money is part of a grant program aimed at attracting tech workers and revitalizing the state’s aging work force. Those who take part in the program must be full-time employees who work remotely for a business based outside of Vermont, and they must become a full-time resident of Vermont in 2019.
“If you are working for a tech company, you’re not necessarily wedded to the office,” Sen. Michael Sirotkin of Chittenden County, which includes Burlington, Vt., told The New York Times. Vermont is in close proximity to Boston and New York, and Sirotkin, the main champion of the bill, says he hopes the incentive will attract those who want “to get out of an urban environment into a more rural environment, those who are maybe paid well and don’t want to leave their job. Hopefully, it works.”
The grant money will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. About $125,000 will be available in 2019 for the program. Qualifying workers will receive up to $5,000 per year for two years. By 2020, the program is expected to receive up to $250,000. Applicants can start issuing requests Jan. 1.
Vermont officials announced another effort to attract more workers to the state two months ago with a Stay-to-Stay initiative. The program was launched with the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing to get tourists to relocate to the state.
Vermont has 16,000 fewer workers living in the state than in 2009, Scott says. “That’s why expanding our workforce is one of the top priorities of my administration. We must think outside the box to help more Vermonters enter the labor force and attract more working families and young professionals to Vermont.”
Other cities and states also have been trying to lure more people willing to relocate:
- City officials in Hamilton, Ohio, have launched “Relocate to Hamilton,” touting $5,000 to help pay student loans.
- In Grant County, Ind., civic leaders are offering $5,000 toward buying a home.
- The Chamber of Commerce in North Platte, Neb., is offering up to $10,000 to move to the town for a job.
- In 2016, the state of Maine launched an ad campaign called “Visit For a Week, Stay for a Lifetime” to try to get more people to call Maine home. Those who visited Maine on vacation and then moved there could be eligible to get their vacation expenses recouped.
Source: “Move to Vermont. Work From Home. Get $10,000. (Or at Least Something),” The New York Times (June 1, 2018)