Phoenix tries to woo Seattle businesses after head tax vote

SEATTLE - Phoenix has a simple message for Seattle businesses:

Don't like the head tax? Move here.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council has begun an aggressive campaign to woo Seattle businesses that may feel alienated from the Emerald City. Whether upset with the head tax or fleeing rising housing costs, Phoenix offers a fresh start for your business, council president Chris Camacho said.

"We've decided to place a really aggressive digital marketing campaign into the Seattle market," Camacho said.

Phoenix has focused on a modest tax policy and boosting technology infrastructure in recent years, Camacho said. According to the council, Seattle has increased its local expenditures 40 percent over the past five years, while Phoenix's remains steady at 13. 7 percent.

Camacho said in the past week he's received calls from at least two Seattle-area businesses considering relocation in Phoenix. Due to non-disclosure contracts, he said he couldn't divulge their names, but said they were in the "general tech sector."

Phoenix has no shortage of talent, Camacho said, as the fifth-largest city in America. And reasonable real estate prices could be a real draw for beleaguered Seattleites looking for an affordable condo.

"It's an affordable place for residents to live," Camacho said.

The median home value in Phoenix is $229,000, compared to Seattle's $820,000, according to Zillow.

Of course, Phoenix isn't all roses. Climate change challenges the city, and it has been ranked among the country's "least sustainable cities." They also struggle with homelessness issues. And unlike Seattle, the city has also struggled with pollution.

Nevertheless, Phoenix has had success luring companies in the past. Camacho said they've been working to lure businesses from high-cost San Francisco, and dozens have come over.

He expects Seattle to follow suit.