Louisville Brings a Lot to the Table with Healthy Business Climate

Photo of home in affordable Louisville
Affordable housing plays a strong role in how companies view a city’s attractiveness. | Photo: Tre Pryor

Moving a company headquarters or manufacturing plant is a major decision.

Executives weigh the pros and cons across a myriad of factors before arriving at the best choice. State tax codes, amount of skilled/non-skilled labor, proximity to strategic partners, and geographic location — each play a strong role.

Let’s see how Louisville stacks up to the competition, and we’ll gain some insight as to why a growing number of high-powered, national companies are choosing Louisville for their company headquarters or vital operations.

For years, the talent base and attractive companies in states like California, New York, and others have been enough for tech companies to justify those states’ anti-corporate tax codes. That balance has started to shift.

The Tax Foundation has just published their Tax Climate Index for 2012 and the results aren’t exceptionally surprising. Here are some selected states.

2ndSouth Dakota7.52
44thNorth Carolina4.22
49thNew York3.59
50thNew Jersey3.33
Note: Higher scores indicate more favorable tax systems for business.

Ranking 22nd in the country is fairly strong even while there’s still room for improvement.

Cost of living factors into so many facets of a corporation’s cost structure: salaries, cost of goods, real estate, energy costs, etc. All of these must be weighed by the decision-makers. Let’s see how Louisville real estate compares to a somewhat similar city such as Charlotte, NC.

According to Sperling’s (a great source for all kinds of demographic data), Charlotte rates a 98 just under the 100 national average. But Louisville comes in at 85, a far lower cost of living.

Looking strictly at residential real estate, here’s how the two cities stack up.

CityAvg. Listing PriceMedian Sales PriceAvg. Price/sqft# of Sales
Louisville, KY$206,029$130,000$94962
Charlotte, NC$265,568$145,000$175756
Source: Trulia.com

In Louisville, prices are lower, homeowners get more houses for their money, and sales activity is higher.

So if a company was planning to move part of their operations from a city like Charlotte to Louisville, the company would experience a more business-friendly tax situation, save money on employee salaries due to the lower cost of living, and those same employees get more purchasing power.

What’s not to like?