A business climate is shaped by many factors. Prescott’s business climate is very positive and the City is not bashful in telling business about it. The factors that contribute to it are highlighted below.
Cost of Living
It costs less than the national average to live in the Prescott area. That’s according to the third quarter (2014) cost-of-living figures that were recently released by the Council for Community and Economic Research. Prescott’s composite index was 97.4 versus the national average of 100.0. The local index was also lower than the second quarter index. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce collects quarterly pricing on sixty items for this national study.
Leading Private Employers
Total employment in Prescott is approximately 37,930 (2014). The same figure for Yavapai County is more than 58,100. The City’s leading employment sectors are Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Educational and Health Services. These sector findings are generally consistent with national trends. Two of Prescott’s leading private employers are manufacturers; Sturm Ruger & Co, Inc. and Cobham Aerospace Communications. A list of Prescott’s Leading Employers is provided here.
Prescott and all Arizona municipalities are highly dependent on sales tax and state-shared revenues for their General Fund. Property taxes account for less than 5 percent of City’s tax revenues. The total 2014 property tax rate (primary and secondary) for the City is 8.8524 per $100 assessed value.* The combined Priviledge (sales tax) and Use Tax tax rate for the State of Arizona, Yavapai County, and the City of Prescott for all taxable activities is 8.35%. The combined rate consists of 5.6% for the State, 0.75% for the County and 2% for the City of Prescott. The City’s sales and property tax rates are the lowest in Greater Prescott.
*Commercial properties are assessed at 18% of market value
The primary source of economic development incentives in Arizona is Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA). Local communities have the legal authority to provide incentives but for Prescott and many other communities incentives are project responsive rather than off-the-shelf incentive programs. The City of Prescott is updating its incentive policy. An inventory of ACA incentives can be seen here.
Real estate availability in Prescott consists of a variety of buildings and sites. The inventory of buildings includes industrial, office and retail properties. The locations are primarily in the downtown area, the City’s north side or proximate to the Prescott Municipal Airport. The availability of vacant parcels zoned for commercial or industrial users received a major infusion in 2013 with the City’s annexation of more than 700 acres in the Airport Area. These properties are controlled by willing sellers and offer excellent visibility and good highway access. Water, sewer, and roadways and can be extended to specific sites. An inventory of buildings and vacant parcels can be seen here (click on “Find Buildings” or “Sites” and add inputs. Click “More Filters” and enter Prescott. Click search)