Tops in the Tri Cities

Cities were ranked in three main categories: economic vitality, business tax burden, and community allure. Separate scores were given to each city for each category based on a number of factors, including business and individual tax rates, job and population growth, median household income, cost of living, crime rates, and a combination of high school graduation rates and ACT scores.

In the end, each city was awarded an overall rank on a 100-point scale based on their scores in each of three categories, with economic vitality and business tax burden each making up 40 percent of the score, and community allure filling in the final 20 percent.

Overall, Johnson City scored 47.02 out of a possible score of 100, with a 33.9 in economic vitality, 51.6 in business tax burden, and 64.2 in community allure. In individual categories, Johnson City scored very high in crime rate per capita, ACT scores, and cost of living. The city scored lowest in median per capita income, individual tax burden and population growth.

Bristol and Kingsport ranked 39th and 40th, with scores of 40.2 and 40, respectively.

Nine Middle Tennessee cities ranked in the top 10, with one East Tennessee city, Farragut, finishing at second place. The Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet took the title of Tennessee’s Most Business-Friendly City in 2010.

“For this year’s most business-friendly cities, these rankings signify responsible, limited governance, reasonable tax rates, quality school systems, low crime, and a thriving economy despite significant economic hurdles,” the report said.

Memphis received the lowest possible ranking, TCPR said, due to a “staggeringly high property tax, a high crime rate, and low education marks.”

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