Cost Advantages

Wayne County, Pennsylvania is a great northeast business location, offering lower start-up and operating costs to businesses, and the benefits of a lower cost of living to employees.

The Commonwealth’s tax climate favors business growth: Pennsylvania’s state/local tax burden is ranked in the bottom third of the nation while neighboring states are near the top. Construction costs and operating costs are all lower than other northeast locations and so is our cost of living. For relocating employees, cost of living indexes translate into more disposable income. In fact, your dollar buys more lifestyle.

An apples to apples comparison of taxes with other northeast states would be difficult because of the multiplicity of taxes at all levels of government. The Tax Foundation performs an annual comparison of the combined State & Local Tax Burden: in 2012, Pennsylvania was ranked 32nd lowest in the nation with a state/local tax burden percentage of 6.34%, below the national average of 10.1%. Other northeastern state rankings: New York (7th), Connecticut (11th), and New Jersey (22nd).

Wayne County Millage Rates
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
For more information regarding PA taxes, contact PA Department of Revenue.

Tax Credit and Abatement Programs

Finance Programs
LERTA is an acronym for the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act. This act was established to permit tax exemptions on improvements to business properties as a means of allowing communities to attract new investments. The community, in a sense, shares in the cost of new investment by foregoing taxes on improvements over the exemption period. This means that a company can construct a new facility or rehabilitate an existing one within a designated area without an increase in real property taxes on the increased real value of a facility for the ten-year exemption period.

The authorization of the LERTA program and the designation of LERTA in eligible areas is the responsibility of the municipality's governing body, e.g., township supervisors. Once this has been done, then the other taxing bodies, including school districts, authorized to levy real property taxes in that area can also elect to adopt LERTA.

The Wayne County Commissioners have set the following job creation criteria:
20-50 workers qualify for a five-year abatement.
50 plus workers qualifies for a 10-year abatement.

We compared wage rates within three northeast metro areas (New York, Trenton and Philadelphia) that essentially would compete with Wayne County for a business prospect. Annual wage rates across all occupations in 2004 in Wayne County were 39% less than New York City, 34% less than Trenton, and 26% less than Philadelphia.

While wages are lower in northeast PA than surrounding metro areas, employers and employees relocating here will find that our lower cost of living could result in a positive net change in disposable income. Simply put, your dollar buys more lifestyle here.

ACCRA cost of living data is not available for any cities near Wayne County (excepting New York City). However, the Places Rated Almanac, Special Millennium Edition rated nearby Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the Lehigh Valley and New York City (which is the highest cost of living in the U.S). It used a scale of 1 to 354 and the following are the relevant ratings:

Scranton / Wilkes-Barre / Hazleton, PA = 170
Allentown / Bethlehem / Easton, PA = 235
New York City, NY = 354

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Region is on the doorstep of New York City but has half the cost of living and a much higher quality of life.

Studies of northeastern Pennsylvania’s electronics industry and financial services support assertions that operating costs are lower in this area than competing locations. Below are findings from both studies.

Operating costs for light industrial and office operations in the region (Hazleton, Mount Pocono and Pittston were used as proxy locations) compared favorably against operating costs in three competitor locations (e.g., Lehigh Valley, PA; Bergen County, NJ,; and Suffolk County, NY). The three northeast PA communities offer lower cost environments relative to labor, real estate, and electric power when compared to Lehigh Valley, and dramatically lower relative operating costs compared to Bergen County and Suffolk County. – The Wadley Donovan Group, Electronic Industry Analysis, Dec. 2005

A recent study of financial service operations by Moran, Stahl & Boyer found that annual operating costs in northeast Pennsylvania are significantly lower than in Philadelphia, Hartford, and New York City. In order to compare relative costs for labor (including salary and benefits) and real estate, MS&B assumed a financial services operation had 500 employees and the total space requirement was 100,000 square feet. With these parameters, annual cost differences were projected as follows:

Northeast PA vs. Philadelphia: $3.2 million to $3.4 million
Northeast Pa vs. Hartford: 3.7 million to $4.1 million
Northeast Pa vs. New York City: 6.9 million to 8.4 million

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Construction estimates by industry experts indicate that building in northeastern PA compared to other northeast metro areas provides a significant cost advantage. Construction costs ranged from 27% lower than New York City to 10% lower than Hartford, CT, translating into a substantial savings for the builder.

Sterling Business Park is at the nexus of a 4-county region where Civilian Labor Force is growing at twice the rate of Pennsylvania and the US as a whole. Nearly 15,000 workers were added in the last 4 years.

Comparing Wayne County wages to surrounding MSA's reveals a significant cost advantage. For example, the average wage for Management occupations in the Philadelphia, Trenton and New York City MSA's were 34% to 63% higher.

The figures above are intended only as a preliminary guide, actual costs may vary depending on many factors.

Business Park Location

Sterling Business & Technology Park is situated midway along the Boston - Washington D.C. corridor.  Access to all areas is easily obtained without having to fight traffic congestion that prevails inside metro areas. Highway access is superb, with Exit 17 on Interstate 84 less than one mile south and the confluence of I-84, I-380 and I-81 fifteen minutes to the west.  Located in Sterling Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.  GPS Coordinates: 41.36,-75.39  For more information:


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