Marion was again named as the fifth best place to retire in North Carolina and McDowell County has the sixth lowest tax burden among all 100 counties in the state, according to SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology firm.

SmartAsset is a company that uses financial modeling to give advice on major financial decisions. The firm releases studies featuring data analysis on topics like affordable places to live and tax burdens, according to online sources.

The ranking for Marion is based on a combination of factors, including tax burden, health care availability, recreational amenities, activities for seniors and the percentage of seniors in the local population. Marion trailed only nationally known retirement locations, such as Hendersonville, Southern Pines, Brevard and Pinehurst. Among the top five communities identified by SmartAsset, Marion ranked lowest in the percentage of seniors living in the community and was tied for the lowest tax burden, according to a news release from the city of Marion.

In 2015, Marion was named as the most tax-friendly retirement location in North Carolina by SmartAsset and ranked 23rd among the best places to retire in North Carolina. In 2016, Marion was also named as one of the top five places to retire in North Carolina by SmartAsset.

“The city is proud of the ranking and its indication that Marion is a great retirement location,” said City Manager Bob Boyette. “Marion is one of only 17 certified retirement communities in North Carolina and continues to work to promote the community’s attractiveness as a retirement destination. However, the fact that Marion ranked lowest of the top five communities in the percentage of seniors living in the community shows that Marion and McDowell County are more than just a retirement community.”

In addition, SmartAsset also released a ranking of the counties with the lowest tax burdens in North Carolina. The firm calculated the amount of money a person would pay in income, sales, property and fuel taxes in each county in North Carolina, according to a news release from SmartAsset.

McDowell County was ranked by the firm has having the sixth lowest tax burden in the state with a tax burden index of 68.99.

Hyde County was ranked at No. 1 in the lowest tax burdens.

The full study results, methodology, and interactive map can be found here:

The city of Marion, in conjunction with McDowell County, McDowell Economic Development Association, the Marion Business Association, the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and McDowell Tourism Development Authority, offers numerous economic development programs designed to attract businesses and people of all ages to the city. The growth being experienced in the community and especially involving new retail, food and beverage and entertainment businesses in the downtown area are an indication that Marion is being discovered and is a great place to live, work, shop and play, according to the news release from the city.

For more information about economic development opportunities in Marion, contact City Manager Bob Boyette at 652-3551 or To learn more about Marion and McDowell County, visit