Community Profile

"When it matters" has become the adopted slogan of one of the Midwest’s most progressive communities: McPherson, Kansas.  McPherson’s namesake was one of the most respected generals in the Union army during the war between the states: Gen. James Birdseye McPherson. 

McPherson is consistently ranked among author Norman Crampton’s "100 Best Small Towns in America", we are proud of our heritage, with Old World traditions, Midwest work ethic, positive business climate and low operating costs.

One of the most attractive communities with beautifully landscaped residential areas with carefully groomed yards and tree-lined streets. Twelve magnificently maintained public parks are scattered throughout the city. There are two 18-hole public golf courses, one of which is a beautiful municipal course with enough challenges for all. A 9-hole Country Club, originally designed by Perry Maxwell is just north of the city. Mr. Maxwell is famous for designing such courses as Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth, TX, Southern Hills in Tulsa, OK, and Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, KS. A host of recreational and athletic sites provide activities for young folks of any age, residents and visitors alike.

Students from McPherson’s superb public and private school systems consistently rank much higher than both state and national academic ACT test averages. Two church affiliated 4-year colleges are located in McPherson: McPherson College, associated with the Church of the Brethren; and Central Christian College with the Free Methodist Church. Hutchinson Community College also has a center in McPherson.
Whether you’re looking for a nice place to visit, a place to call home, or perhaps a new industry or business location…remember "When it matters, it’s McPherson."

Please navigate our Community Profile to learn more about our community.

Utilities

The municipally-owned McPherson Board of Public Utilities is both the electric and water supplier for the city. The McPherson BPU provides one of the lowest cost electric power in the Nation with an average industrial rate of only 4.6 cents per kWh in 2012The BPU offers virtually unlimited capacity and unbeatable reliability with a SAIDI Rating of 30.25 (99.99%) through a fully redundant electric system. Through an interconnect agreement with Westar Energy, BPU’s customers have the benefit of stable, competitive rates through 2039. 

Comparative Electric Rates
Cents per Kilowatt Hour:
  McPherson BPU* U.S. Municipal** U.S. Inv.Owned** U.S. CoOp**
Industrial: 4.6 7.1 6.9 6.8
Commercial: 6.8 9.9 10.4 9.9
Residential: 6.6 10.5 11.9 10.7
*McPherson 2012
**American Public Power Association Survey-2012 (latest available figures)

Water Supply
Source:Equus Beds Underground Aquifer Plant Capacity: 17,280,000 gal./day
Temperature Range: 50-72 Degrees F. Storage Capacity: 3,000,000 gal.
Hardness (g/gallon): 27 grains Average Consumption: 3,014,000 gal./day
Treated: No Peak Demand: 5,854,000 gal./day

 

Water Rates
Cost per 1,000 gallons
Residential: $3.15
Commercial: $2.89

 

Sanitation System
Type: Biological Sewage Treatment Plant
  Capacity Present Load
Gallons Per Day: 2,400,000 1,800,000
Population Equivalent: 24,000 14,634

 

Natural Gas
Supplier: Kansas Gas Service
Rate
Residential: $15.35 monthly service charge plus delivery charge. $2.1230 per mcf delivered.*

General Sales (Small commercial = usage less than 200 Mcf per year): $28.65 monthly service charge plus delivery charge. $2.1255 per Mcf delivered*

General Sales (Large commercial = usage between 200 - 1,500 Mcf per year): $36.00 monthly service charge plus delivery charge. $1.6819 per Mcf delivered*

General Sales- transport eligible (usage greater than 1,500 Mcf per year): $60.00 monthly service charge plus delivery charge. $1.4598 per Mcf delivered*

Large Commercial: Varies (subject to usage/curtailment acceptance)
*May be subject to applicable adjustments and charges

 

 

Population
Population
  2010 2000 1990 1980 1960
McPherson 13,155 13,770 12,422 11,753 9,996
McPherson County 29,180 29,954 27,268 26,855 24,285

 

Workforce

Another crucial factor in McPherson's industrial success is its workforce, which local business executives consistently cite as one of the city's strongest assets. 

McPherson industries import labor from all adjacent counties, drawing from a workforce of over 500,000 people.  Commuting to our community is easy and fast being located at the intersection of two highways (I-135 and US-56). 

 

 

 

Major Communities Importing Labor to McPherson Businesses  
Community Population Travel Time to McPherson (minutes)
Wichita 382,368 45
Hutchinson 42,080 20
Salina 47,707 30
Newton 19,132 30

Many of the city's workers are McPherson natives and products of a public school system that ranks higher than state and national averages. All graduates of McPherson Public Schools are required to obtain a Silver Level on the WorkReady certificate, as part of an agreement that made our school system the first in the nation to opt out of No Child Left Behind. 

The workforce also benefits from our two four-year colleges - McPherson College and Central Christian College.  These schools produce high-quality graduates whose skill sets dovetail perfectly with the needs of local manufacturers. 

In addition, Hutchinson Community College (HCC) has a great breadth of training available for manufacturing and other industrial businesses. HCC offers classes both for college credit or as non-credit offerings, to address any of your workforce needs. 

HCC is the lead institution in the state of Kansas for the Manufacturing Skills Certificate in which students cover Shop Math, Precision Measurement, Blueprint Reading, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Workplace Safety and Employability Skills. To build on that they offer additional training in Mechanical, Electrical, Welding, Construction, Fluid Power, Supervisory Skills, Communication, Teamwork, Workplace Safety, Lean Manufacturing, etc.  Furthermore, if your business has other specialized needs, they work with businesses to develop specialized training.

County Labor Workforce
McPherson 17,359
Harvey 17,131
Marion 6,456
Reno 34,104
Rice 6,110
Saline 31,521

 

McPherson County & Adjacent County Labor  
Description McPherson County

Adjacent Counties, including     McPherson County

Civilian Labor Force 17,359 111,009
Employment 16,665 106,857
Unemployment 694 5,820
Unemployment Rate 4.0% 5.2%

 

McPherson County Commuting Patterns  
County

Location of Employment for

Individuals Living in the Selected Area

Location of Residence for

Individuals Employed in the Selected Area

McPherson County 62.6% 8,204 (63.3%)
Saline County 6.40% 478 (3.70%)
Reno County 6.20% n/a
Harvey County 5.20% 555 (4.3%)
Marion County 1.10% n/a
Rice County 0.90% 237 (1.8%)

 

McPherson County Wage Levels  
Position Entry Level/ hour Experienced/ hour
Electricians $16.30 $26.70
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, ... $14.00 $18.20
Line Supervisors $18.60 $28.70
Machinists $14.10 $23.90
Milling & Planing Machine Setters, Operators & Tenders - Metal & Plastics $19.50 $23.00
Office Clerks $  9.80 $15.40
Production Helpers $  8.20 $11.10
Welders, Cutters, Solderers & Brazers $12.50 $19.20

 

 

 

Education

The McPherson school system recently drew national attention when it was the first school district in the U.S. to be granted a waiver from the standard testing of “No Child Left Behind” in favor of using the more challenging ACT testing to measure students’ progress. ALL MCPHERSON HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN A SILVER LEVEL ON THE WORKREADY CERTIFICATE AS A REQUIREMENT OF GRADUATION. This is only part of the school district’s “C3” program to prepare graduating students for success in College, Career, and Citizenship.

At McPherson USD #418, fifty (50%) percent of the teachers have earned a masters degree or higher; the average years of employment is eleven (11) years; the average total years of teaching experience is sixteen (16) years.

McPherson high school students consistently score higher than state and national averages. The most recent composite ACT score for McPherson High School students was 22.2 with all students participating in conjunction with the C3 initiative. The Kansas composite for the same period was 21.7 and the national composite was 20.9.

McPherson’s High School graduation rate is 93.6%, while the State of Kansas high school graduation rate is 89.7%.

 

 

2009 ACT Score Comparison
  McPherson H.S. Kansas National
English 21.9 21.5 20.6
Mathematics 22.7 21.8 21.0
Reading 22.8 22.6 21.4
Science 22.4 21.8 20.8
Composite Score 22.6 22.0 21.1

 

Transportation

McPherson is located near the geographic center of Kansas and of the contiguous United States. Interstate 135 intersects U.S. Highway 56 at McPherson; and Interstate 70 is just 30 miles north via I-135. 

 

Incentives

McPherson Industry Development Incentives

SITE LOCATION ASSISTANCE

Our Business Recruitment Team creates customized incentive proposals for clients based on capital investment, job creation, employee salaries and each company's unique needs. We coordinate with community economic development professionals for local incentives such as discounted building and land purchases, reduced property taxes, build-to-suit agreements and finance packages. All assistance offered for new company locations are also available for subsequent expansions. 

 

In addition, the Business Recruitment Team for the Kansas Department of Commerce assists with various site location needs. Whether you're seeking buildings or sites, our team has the resources and information to help you make an informed decision.

 

FINANCING INCENTIVES

Industrial Revenue Bonds
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) are securities issued by cities and counties to provide funds for creditworthy companies. They are one of the most popular and cost-efficient methods of financing the purchase of land, construction of a new facility, improvements to an existing facility and /or equipping a business. This low-interest, fixed-rate financing mechanism can provide up to 100% of a business’ finding needs with the only equity requirement being the cost of the bond issuance’s fees. An IRB can also include a property tax exemption.

Community Development Block Grants
Community Development Block Grants may also be used by a business to acquire land or buildings, construct or renovate facilities, purchase machinery and equipment or for working capital. Companies can apply for up to $35,000 per job created with a maximum limit of $750,000. At least 51% of the jobs created must be for new hires meeting low- to moderate-income guidelines. CDBG economic development funds can also be used to finance infrastructure improvements to assist companies creating jobs.

Low Interest Loans
Low interest loan programs are available through the e-Community funds administered by the McPherson Chamber of Commerce (E-Community loan fund program), Main Street McPherson, UDSA-Rural Development, the South Central Kansas Economic Development District, and NetWork Kansas’ Start-Up Kansas program.

Small Business Administration Financing
The SBA has a number of financing programs. The SBA 504 debenture program is a g-term financing tool that provides long-term, fixed rate financing for major fixed assets the typical breakdown of a 504 loan is 50% private financing, a 40% 100% SBA-guarantee and a 10% equity contribution from the business.

The SBA 7(a) loan guarantee program is a guaranty backed by the SBA on a portion of the loan. 7a guarantees can be used for working capital or fixed assets. The SBA has loans that are designed for a number of business financing requirements and demographic groups.

TAX INCENTIVES

INCOME TAX INCENTIVES

Kansas State Income Tax Reforms
The State of Kansas has undertaken very aggressive measures to reform income taxes. These changes took effect Jan. 1, 2013. Personal income taxes have been cut by 14 to 24 percent depending on your tax bracket and status. In addition, the reforms include the elimination of state income tax on non-wage business income for individual owners of partnerships, LLCs, S-corporations and sole proprietorships. Your accountant should be consulted to determine the impact that this may have on your business and personal financial health.

Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK)
The Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK) incentive program allows qualified for-profit and regional/national non-for-profit headquarter companies locating new jobs or expanding an existing Kansas operation, to retain 95 percent (95%) of the payroll withholding tax of the PEAK jobs over a period of five or more years depending on the wage level. The Secretary of Commerce has sole discretion to approve qualified companies and determine length of benefit.
 

The company’s wages for PEAK jobs must meet or exceed the county median wage or regional North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industry average wage. In addition, the company must make available to full-time employees adequate health insurance coverage and pay at least 50 percent (50%) of the premium. The threshold for qualification for this program is very low. Businesses located in metropolitan counties must create only five PEAK eligible jobs within two years.

Commercial Machinery and Exemption Expensing Deduction
Effective January 1, 2012, Kansas taxpayers will be allowed to claim a one-time deduction on all business machinery and equipment, placed in service in Kansas during the tax year. Furthermore, an unused expense deduction is treated as a Kansas net operating loss that may be carried forward for 10 years.

Eligible investment is machinery and equipment depreciable under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) in section 168 of the Internal Revenue Code, or canned software as defined in section 197 of the Internal Revenue Code. Examples of eligible equipment include manufacturing equipment, office furniture, computers, software and racking. The State of Kansas is the only state to offer this expensing deduction.
 

High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP)
The High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP) provides a ten percent (10%) investment tax credit and other incentives to companies that pay above average wages. The minimum investment threshold is $50,000 and qualified capital investment can include such items as the purchase or lease of a facility or equipment, remodeling or build-out costs, fixtures, furniture and computers. Equipment transferred to Kansas from out-of-state is also credited at the original acquisition cost.

To qualify the company must have a strong commitment to skills development for their workers by investing at least two percent (2%) of payroll in employee training or participating in a State training program. The workforce training tax credit can be up to $50,000 annually for training expenditures above two percent (2%) of their payroll.
One of the primary benefits of HPIP certification is exemption from sales tax for eligible capital investments/services. Another good benefit of the program is priority consideration for other assistance programs offered through The Kansas Department of Commerce, KTEC, and MAMTC.

PROPERTY TAX INCENTIVES

Ad Valorem Property Tax Exemption
Manufacturing businesses, companies conducting research and development, and/or warehousing and distribution facilities involved in interstate commerce that expand or locate in Kansas are eligible to receive a total of partial ad valorem tax exemption for up to ten (10) years. The exemption can apply to buildings, land and improvements.
Personal Property Tax Exemption (Machinery and Equipment)

Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment acquired by qualified purchase or lease or transferred into the state is not subject to state and local property tax. The exemption pertains to machinery and equipment used in the expansion of an existing facility or the establishment of a new facility. The exemption covers machinery and equipment used in manufacturing or warehousing/distribution, commercial equipment, computers, desks and chairs, copiers and fax machines. Kansas is one of only a dozen states offering this incentive program.

Inventory Property Tax Exemption
A property tax exemption exists for merchant’s and manufacturers’ inventory. Eligible inventory includes: finished goods; inventory in the process of production; and/or raw materials and supplies.

SALES TAX INCENTIVES

Utilities Sales Tax Exemption
Electricity, gas, and water consumed to run machinery and equipment to produce, manufacture, process, mine, drill or refine tangible personal property is exempt from state and local sales tax.

Machinery Sales Tax Exemption
The sale of machinery and equipment (including repair and replacement parts and accessories) which is used in Kansas as an integral or essential part of an integrated production operation by a manufacturing or processing plant or facility is exempt from sales tax. The installation, repair and maintenance services performed on this equipment shall also be exempt from sales tax.

Other Sales Tax Exemptions:
• Labor services related to original construction
• Remodeling costs, furnishings, furniture, machinery and equipment for qualified projects
• New machinery and equipment for manufacturing and distribution. This also includes pre- and post-production machinery and equipment, including raw material handling, waste storage, water purification and oil cleaning, as well as ancillary property such as gas pipes, electrical wiring and pollution control equipment
• Tangible personal property that becomes an ingredient or component part of a finished product
• Tangible personal property that is immediately consumed in the production process, including electric power, natural gas and water
• Incoming and outgoing interstate telephone or transmission services (WATTS)
• Real and personal property financed with an Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB)

 

IMPORT DUTY AND FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVES

Foreign Trade Zone
McPherson County is part of the Sedgwick County Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).  Foreign and domestic goods of eligible FTZ businesses are not within the US Customs Territory and users are thereby exempt from paying duty or federal tax while goods remain in the Zone or are exported. 

McPherson County businesses whether they are manufacturers, assembly or warehousing and distribution are eligible for FTZ "subzone" status.  This designation is for businesses seeking to establish FTZ status at its own plant or facility.  The application process, fees and agreements vary according to intended use. 

The US Foreign Trade Zone Program is intended to stimulate economic growth and competitiveness domestically by encouraging companies to maintain and expand their operations in the US. 

 

WORKFORCE AND TRAINING INCENTIVES

The Kansas Department of Commerce has two workforce training programs to offset a company’s training costs, which are the Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) and the Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR) programs. Eligibility for either program depends on the number of jobs created and the corresponding wages.

Companies creating new jobs may qualify for Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) assistance. The Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR) program was created to retrain a Kansas company’s existing workforce on new technology or production activities. Projects involving a Kansas Basic Industry – which includes manufacturing, distribution or regional/national service facilities – may qualify for these programs.

The KIT and KIR programs can pay for the costs of training new employees or retraining existing workers. Instructors may come from your supervisory staff, community colleges, area technical schools, consultants, vendors, or other sources. Training may take place at your business, a local school or temporary rental facility. Eligible costs include: instructors salaries, curriculum planning and development, travel expenses, materials and supplies, training aids, minor equipment, and certain training facilities.

Click here for a printable version of the Kansas Business Incentives.

City Services

The City of McPherson is governed by an elected Mayor and two City Commissioners, with the assistance of an appointed City Administrator. A comprehensive city plan has been adopted and is reviewed and updated periodically. City Zoning has also been adopted and provides for the orderly expansion of residential property, commercial, and industrial zones. The city is served well with a full complement of municipal services:

Fire Protection
Full-time fire department personnel 18
Volunteer fire department personnel 14
Fire Insurance Classification:  
Within the city 4
Outside the city (depending on distance) 4-9
 
Police Protection
Full-time police personnel 27
Part-time police personnel reserves) 6