Mt. Juliet fourth business friendly city
Mt. Juliet has been ranked fourth most business-friendly city in Tennessee by think tank The Beacon Center of Tennessee.
"I'm thrilled and excited," said Mt. Juliet Mayor Ed Hagerty. "This is a good reflection on our community and our accomplishments."
This is the third year in a row Mt. Juliet has been named in the top 5 rankings, capturing top of the list of 50 cities in 2010 and fourth again last year. This year Brentwood broke through to claim first place in the rankings, followed by Franklin and Farragut. Spring Hill slid in fifth place.
"Mt. Juliet performed well across a number of categories," said Beacon Director of Policy Trey Moore.
He said three main categories comprise the report's makeup: Community Allure, Business Tax Burden, and Economic Vitality.
According to Moore, what helped Mt. Juliet capture fourth place was its "relatively low tax burden." Two components make up this category: the city property tax rate and gross receipt sales tax.
Prior to implementing a .20 cent property tax in 2011, Mt. Juliet was one of few cities in Tennessee sans a property tax.
"But, despite passing a new property tax, it's relatively low," said Moore. "It's still in the bottom 10 in amount of the tax."
Mt. Juliet came in second in this category.
"As you know, we were first place before we implemented the property tax and then we dropped to fourth," said Hagerty. "We have one of the lowest in the state and ranking fifth place is a positive statement on this."
Mt. Juliet also came in relatively high in the Community Allure category with Bristol capturing first in this ranking and Mt. Juliet ranking fifth. While this category is given less weight than the other two, Moore noted that cost of living, crime rates, public education achievement and individual tax burdens are key components.
"Mt. Juliet did fine in education and the violent crime rate is low," explained Moore.
According to the report, Mt. Juliet's lowest ranking was in the Economic Vitality category. While this may be surprising considering its burgeoning residential and business growth, Moore said the ranking has more to do with eight other cities experiencing even higher rates of economic growth. Residential population, job growth and median household income were factors in this rating. Job growth carried 50 percent of this ranking.
"This is not a bad ranking at all," said Moore.
He explained that the study revealed Mt. Juliet has "a history of being committed to entrepreneurs."
"Mt. Juliet has shown it can provide a place where entrepreneur
can grow, be supported and be dedicated to established businesses, as well as new businesses," he said.
Hagerty said there are several plans in the works in Mt. Juliet that "could vault this city up to first place in the rankings next year."
"We are working on Providence West, the Eastern connector and Bel Air at Beckwith," he said. "If they come to fruition over the next year we could possibly be first place again. I think we have a great livability factor here."
The City of Lebanon came in sixth in the rankings and Memphis came in last.
The report concludes Tennessee's most business-friendly cities have limited government, good tax rates, good schools, low crime rate and steady economic growth.