What troubles me is the use of median rent to compare housing costs. As rent increases, renters are likely to downsize offsetting some of the rent increase. I'd be willing to bet Seattle renters are able to get more space for the area's median rental. Accordingly, the salary increase probably doesn't cover the rent increase for a similar sized home.
Median would be relevant if you were talking about moving to CA to sell car insurance to tech people.
I incorrectly multiplied the tax rate to the salary difference, and said that this was a 5$ difference. This is totally wrong (as multiple people point out below). I'll leave my original embarrassing comment as a cation to not write stupid things :)
I just added in a mention of the tax difference. But the numbers are 13.3% in CA vs 0% in WA. That's significant, for sure. But 13% tax on $33k is about $5k. I don't think that changes the conclusion that the salary difference does (in many cases) cover the housing costs.
You're likely correct about the price for a similarly sized home. People who want large homes should probably not move to the Bay Area.
On a $150K income you are going to be paying an effective rate for CA around 7%.
Not sure what MediCal is. You mean Medicare? That's federal.
CA OASDI/EE is 0.9% but you only pay it on the first $100K or so.
If the salary difference of $33k is the difference between gross salary, that $33k is going to be taxed at the marginal tax rate. My guess at a marginal tax rate would be ~40%. Accordingly, that $33k becomes closer to $20k after tax.
Edit: to clarify, consider a Seattle salary of $100k and a Bay Area salary of $133k. The take-home salary for each location would be:
Seattle : $100k*(1-0.4) = $60k
Bay Area: $130k*(1-0.4) = $78k
Works out to $9k according to this for a single filer: https://smartasset.com/taxes/california-tax-calculator#8TRRj... -- so your additional income is more like $11k, or just under $1k / mo. In my experience, the difference in housing is far more than $1k/mo, so you come out ahead in Seattle.
EDIT: Looks like I forgot about California's other taxes on payroll, so it's actually even more in Seattle's favor.
Sounds high for Seattle.
The idea is to normalize salaries by cost of living. If you have more specific information for each area (you have actual offers), then you can use that. However, using a lower rent for the Bay Area, for example, because you'll have roommate, may set you up to take an equivalently lower salary.
For example, if you're going from $100k/$2000 location to $100k/$3000 (salary / rent), but you set it back to $2000 because that's your rent with roommates, you've foolishly/ignorantly accepted a lower equivalent salary.
A paid parking space will run you the price of a 1-bedroom in a sane region.
Mountain View's Walmart does not, according to this: http://www.walmartlocator.com/no-park-walmarts-in-california...