Finding Incentives to Locate Your Facility in a Specific Jurisdiction – A Resource Guide

Last week we discussed looking at the differences between jurisdictions in terms of taxes and any incentives that are available to you.  We received many requests for more information.

Note – the following is provided for information use only and is not to be considered as tax planning advice.  We also make no guarantees as to how up to date the information is or to its accuracy.  Please consult a professional familiar with the jurisdiction(s) under consideration.  Also, the following tools are offered as examples and no endorsement of the provider is being made nor should it be implied.  The author has no financial interests in any of the organizations presented.

A good place to start to look at different states’ overall tax climate is the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index (click here).  Their index is designed to show how ell states structure their tax systems and provides a roadmap for improvement.  All states levy a property tax, but their analysis provides a way to look at the overall tax burden.  Some states do this by foregoing one of the major taxes – either corporate income taxes, individual income taxes or the sales tax – at the state level.  It is possible for a state to levy all the major taxes id they do so with a low rate over a broad base.  The worst performing states tend to have nonneutral taxes with comparatively high rates.  A four-year comparison chart allows the user to see what the trends are for each state while a separate table shows the state rankings for each major tax type, so you can see how the ranking was reached.  An interactive web tool (click here) is also available to look at adjacent states at a glance.  Clicking on a state will bring up the ranking for that state as well as the overall ranks of the neighboring states.  A further click through allows you to learn more about a single state’s tax structure and average rates.

Financial advisors SmartAsset provide both an income tax calculator (click here)  and a property tax calculator (click here).  The property tax calculator estimates the property taxes for a given zip code location and assessed value.  While this is for residential properties, it will give you an idea of how that county and state compare to the national average.  This is not a direct proxy for commercial property taxes, but it will give an idea of if that municipality is a relatively high or low tax jurisdiction.

Locations Economists Biggins, Lacy, Shapiro & Company, offer both an interactive map as well as a pdf version of state economic development incentives (click here). Topics such as available tax credits, special zoning, grants, job training, tax exemptions and more are provided on a state-by-state basis.

Online journal Area Development provides several resources for a company considering a new facility, from site selection, facility planning among others.  They provide individual state resource pages that offer information on financial incentives, business taxes and economic development contacts.

Software provider BS&A offers an online search tool to find existing property and any other local taxes (click here).  Simply pick the state, county and municipality and then run a public record check on the address under consideration.

A comprehensive listing of contact information for both state and district economic development agencies can be found on the U.S. Economic Development Agency web site (click here). Simply click on the state to get links to each available level of economic development agencies.

Finally, check both the website of the municipality that you are considering as well as it’s local chamber of commerce.  Many will provide how they calculate and assess property taxes, but some will not.  If no guidance is provided they will have contact information that you can use to phone the appropriate department directly.  The local chamber can also provide information on local programs and incentives that may be available to you.