Jurisdictions have long competed to be destinations of choice for employers and employees, based on tax mix, amenities, transportation infrastructure, and other location characteristics. At present, this competitive landscape seems particularly fluid and intense. Most notably, COVID has hollowed out commercial office cores, scrambled real estate markets, and increased people’s preferences for outdoor amenities and other wellness resources.
Meanwhile, economic uncertainty has forced a reckoning for jurisdictions in their relative tax burden positions. Lower tax burden jurisdictions are caught between heightened fiscal pressure if they maintain their low rates, and loss of competitive advantage if they raise rates. Higher tax burden jurisdictions, in turn, are finding that if they continue to raise rates, they cause mass outcry amongst residents and businesses, while if they rein in tax rates they stretch their already tight budgets.
In such a climate and at such a time, King of Prussia District is tasked with catalyzing economic development and job growth for UMT/KOP. This report helps substantiate where UMT/KOP holds a competitive advantage over neighboring jurisdictions as a destination of choice for employers and employees, and conversely where UMT/KOP fares more poorly relative to competing jurisdictions. The former can inform promotional efforts such as HQ KOP, while the latter can inform King of Prussia District’s discourse with local elected officials and business leaders.
ESI’s 2022 analysis of how Upper Merion Township/King of Prussia (UMT/KOP) compares as a business location relative to other nearby suburban jurisdictions represents an update to research conducted in 2017 and 2011, also commissioned by King of Prussia District. It covers relative tax burden and other locational characteristics, and enables both a comparison across jurisdictions, as well as a comparison across time.