Fort Worth Named Top Pro-Growth City in U.S.

Fort Worth
Cityscape of Fort Worth Texas in early evening light. | Image by Leena Robinson/Shutterstock

Fort Worth was recently named the top pro-growth city in the nation.

Cowtown earned the No.1 spot for its pro-growth policy approach, according to The Free Cities Index published by the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), a California-based think tank that promotes policies that encourage the free market, private initiative, and limited government.

“Families desire cities that are affordable, foster economic opportunities, and offer residents a high quality of life,” said Wayne Winegarden, PRI senior fellow in business and economics and author of the study, in a news release.

“The Free Cities Index rankings show that the cities that are offering these attributes are growing in population,” Winegarden continued. “By the same token, cities that levy less burdensome taxes, impose a less costly regulatory environment, and efficiently provide core public services are attracting employers, investment, jobs, and tax revenue.”

PRI’s top five pro-growth cities have Fort Worth in first place, Austin in second, Colorado Springs in third, and Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina, coming in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Alternatively, the five cities at the bottom of the index include Long Beach, Baltimore, New York City, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

PRI looked at seven policy criteria to determine its rankings. The seven policy categories named in the study include the economic incentive rate, the average individual tax burden, the regulatory burden, the business environment, the city’s income-adjusted affordability, the city’s quality of life, as well as the size of each city’s homeless and vagrant population and the share of people living in poverty.

“The Free Cities Index rankings make clear — people, voting with their feet, are expressing their support for pro-growth policies by moving to those cities whose policies promote freedom,” concluded Winegarden.

Gov. Greg Abbott said he believes the explosive population growth and economic development in Fort Worth will also help drive growth for other parts of the state.

“If Texas succeeds, all regions in the state must be successful. That is what we are trying to achieve with economic development in Fort Worth,” Abbott said during an event covered by The Dallas Express.

Unlike Fort Worth, which has been a prime location for development in recent years, Dallas has been slow to achieve its development goals. This has partly been due to the City’s commercial permitting turnaround times, with some still taking months to approve. Such was the case with Barrett Linburg, co-founding partner of Savoy Equity Partners, who saw several of his multifamily permits take 7.5 months to get approval, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The full PRI study can be viewed by clicking here.

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