Cost of Community Services in Effingham County, GA

The Effingham County Industrial Development Authority wanted a better understanding of both the benefits and costs of growth. There is a growing body of empirical evidence that shows that commercial and/or industrial development can improve the financial situation of a local government. However, residential development, with its demands for local government services, often has the opposite effect. This study presents the cost of community services by land use for Effingham County, Georgia.

Economic Impact of the Atlanta Housing Authority (2014-2019)

Atlanta Housing (formerly called Atlanta Housing Authority) was founded in 1938 and is considered the very first and oldest housing authority in the United States. Today, Atlanta Housing (AH) is the largest housing agency in Georgia and one of the largest in the United States, serving approximately 50,000 people.

This report quantifies the economic impact of AH within the primary investment area of the City of Atlanta. Specifically, the economic impact was done for a period of 6 years – 2014 through 2019. This period was chosen because it corresponds to the end of the mortgage and credit crisis, and overall stabilization of the economy. The analysis is done for three major expenditure components – capital spending, operational spending, and housing subsidy payments (which are a sub-component of operational spending). This research will provide a baseline from which future planning decisions may be calculated and bench marked.

Fiscal Impact of the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Tax Credit

This report examines the fiscal impact of the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act (GARJA).

The portfolio provided to the research team represented $100 million of investments that were made in 33 rural Georgia companies.  These investments were directly responsible for the creation, or retention, of more than 1,000 jobs across rural Georgia in various industries.  Combined, these jobs represent nearly $50 million in personal income in rural Georgia.

These jobs and their related economic activity are projected to generate $23.4 million annually for all levels of government across the state.  About $10.7 million of that is expected to accrue to the state. Conservatively assuming that no more jobs were created over the next 10 years in these businesses, the return ratio to the State of Georgia would be 1.56 after 10 years.  In other words, over a 10-year period, if these jobs are maintained, the state could expect to get back 56 percent more in revenue than it gave in credits.

The report can be found here.

The Fiscal Impact of SunTrust Park at The Battery Atlanta on Cobb County

This report examines the fiscal impact that the new home of the Atlanta Braves, SunTrust Park, and The Battery Atlanta has on Cobb County, Georgia as well as the Cobb County School System.   The report looks at the $300 million public contribution as well as the millions of dollars the county contributes annually to capital maintenance and operating costs.  It also looks at the $800 million of fully-taxable private investment that the Braves directly injected into the local economy through a mixed-use, fully-planned development, and answers the question, “does this level of guaranteed private investment change the calculus for public financing of a stadium?”

A graphic overview can be found here.

The Executive Summary can be found here.

The Economic and Fiscal Impact of the Music Industry in Georgia: Production, Distribution, Support, and Tourism

This report examines the impact that the music industry has on the Georgia economy.  Excluding music tourism, the economic impact of the music industry in Georgia in 2016 was $3.5 billion. There were nearly 17,000 people employed by, or who spent a significant part of their time, and/or received a significant part of their income from the music industry.

Fiscal Impact of the Proposed City of St. Simons/Sea Island on Glynn County, Georgia

This report examined the fiscal impact that the proposed City of St. Simons/Sea Island would have on Glynn County.  The report answers several key questions not addressed by previous studies, including:

  • To what extent will the county loose revenues that currently fund countywide services?
  • To what extent will the county be able to reduce service costs due to the creation of the new city?
  • If lost revenues exceed lost expenses, how much of a millage rate increase will be needed to make up the difference.

The final report played a key role in informing decision makers about the complete fiscal impact of new city creation on ALL Glynn County taxpayers.

Forsyth County – Fiscal Impact of Sharon Springs

At the request of Forsyth County Board of Commissioners the Center for Economic Development Research (CEDR) at Georgia Tech examined the fiscal impact that the proposed City of Sharon Springs would have on Forsyth County.   In 2015, House Bill 660 was introduced to provide for the incorporation of a significant portion of south Forsyth County into the City of Sharon Springs.  By population, the proposed City of Sharon Springs would be the 17th largest city in Georgia — falling just behind Valdosta, Smyrna, and Brookhaven — and would be nearly 10 times larger than Cumming, the only other city in Forsyth County and the county seat.

Forsyth logo

A report examining the fiscal feasibility of this new city was published in February 2015.  While this report met the requirements of the rules set forth by the House of Representatives Governmental Affairs Committee of the Georgia General Assembly, there were many important questions that the Georgia General Assembly did not ask regarding the fiscal impact that the municipal incorporation of Sharon Springs would have on the county.  For example, will the county lose revenues that currently fund services that will still need to be provided county-wide?  If so, how much of a millage rate increase to ALL county residents will be needed to make up the difference?  To what extent will the county be able to reduce service costs due to the creation of the city? How will capital expenditures be impacted if the new city does not collect the county impact fee?  These are just a few of the questions that needed to be answered in order to get a complete picture of the true fiscal impact of creating Sharon Springs.

It turns out that the creation of the City of Sharon Springs would lower county operating revenue by approximately $6.2 million.  The primary revenue losses would have been in alcohol licenses and excise taxes, business licenses and occupation tax, cable franchise fees, planning and zoning permits and fees, and insurance premium taxes.  On the other side of the equation, the county would save nearly $770,000 in operating expenses in both code enforcement and the planning and development departments.  These savings are primarily due to the reduction of 13-15 positions with the associated salaries, benefits, and other related expenses.  Because the revenue loss is significantly more than the cost savings, the county would have been left with a revenue gap of approximately $5.4 million.  Given the size of the Forsyth County net tax digest, it would require an additional 0.623 mills to recover that amount of revenue.  That is equivalent to a property tax increase of 12.9 percent for ALL Forsyth County property owners.


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Economic and Fiscal Impact Study

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s) engaged the Center for Economic Development Research at Georgia Tech to assess their economic and fiscal impact on the State of Georgia. Children’s is the state’s 15th largest employer, and ranks 20th with respect to total payroll. Below is a quick summary of the economic and fiscal impact study.

The economic impact of Children’s represents the difference in the Georgia economy between having and not having Children’s. The focus here is on resources that would likely not exist in the state were it not for Children’s. This includes 1) resources that Children’s brings in from outside the state, and 2) resources that are already in Georgia, but would leave the state if Children’s did not exist. Obviously, many of the services provided by Children’s are available from other providers who would be able to fill in the gap left by Children’s. However, some services are not available from other providers, and some, though available, would not be able to capture all of the demand. A detailed analysis of the services Children’s provides and the alternative providers in Georgia allowed for an estimate of the extent to which Children’s patients would likely seek treatment outside of Georgia if Children’s did not exist. Based on the structure of the Georgia economy, the economic impact of Children’s is $1.5 billion in economic output across the state and the employment of nearly 12,300 people earning more than $700 million in wages, salaries, and benefits.

Fiscal impact analysis takes the above results and estimates how those levels of economic activity influence both the expenditures made by government and the revenues that will accrue to government. When state revenues exceed expenditures, the result is positive net revenue, which is analogous to what the private sector would call “profit.” Using a proprietary state fiscal impact model developed by the Center for Economic Development Research at Georgia Tech, it is estimated that the economic impact of Children’s generates about $75.6 million in revenue for the State of Georgia, and $37.5 million in new expenses. Therefore, the net fiscal impact of Children’s on the State of Georgia is a positive $38.1 million.