New Report Shows KCC’s Economic Contribution to Community
A new report from Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. details the economic contributions of Klamath Community College to its service district. The report, which was released in September, outlines the contributions of the college to not only its student body, but taxpayers and the service district as a whole.
Although the report indicates that KCC positively contributes to district taxpayers and the local economy, it is the college’s students who benefit the most based on increased earning potential. “Compared to someone with a high school diploma, associate’s degree graduates earn $8,400 more per year, on average, over the course of a working lifetime,” the report reads. Additionally, for every dollar that students invest in their education at KCC, they receive $11.40 in higher future income.
Klamath Community College also has a positive social impact on the service district and the state of Oregon. As individuals achieve higher levels of education, the report indicates, they are “less likely to smoke or abuse alcohol, draw welfare or unemployment benefits, or commit crimes.” This translates into more than $600,000 in avoided social costs each year. KCC students also expand the state’s tax base through higher incomes while the businesses that employ them enjoy improved productivity, “these benefits, together with the associated ripple effects, contribute an estimated $10.9 million in taxable income to the Oregon economy each year,” according to the report.
KCC positively affects the local economy of its service district in three ways: 1. through employee wages and local purchases; 2. through the spending of non-local students; and 3. through increased skills and productivity of the local workforce. The cumulative impact of these three factors is staggering: “altogether, the average annual added income due to the activities of KCC and its former students equals $49.2 million,” the report reads
Klamath Community College is supported through local taxes, and according to the report, taxpayers are getting very good return on their investment. Taxpayers in the district receive a rate of return of 8.9 percent and a benefit/cost ratio of 2.7. Both of these numbers show a positive contribution to taxpayers. “Positive economic returns are generally not expected from government investments,” the report reads. “Even a small positive return (a benefit/cost ratio equal to or greater than 1, or a rate of return equal to or greater than 3 percent…) would be a favorable outcome,” it continues.
The report concludes that “KCC is a sound investment from multiple perspectives. The college enriches the lives of students and increases their lifetime incomes. It benefits taxpayers by generating increased tax revenues from an enlarged economy and reducing the demand for taxpayer-supported social services. Finally, it contributes to the vitality of both the local and state economies.”
About the report: “The Economic Contributions of Klamath Community College” details the role that the college plays in promoting economic development, enhancing students’ careers, and improving quality of life. Data sources include, but are not limited to, 2010-11 academic and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, earnings and demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and a variety of studies and surveys relating education to social behavior.
About Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.: EMSI is a leading provider of socioeconomic impact and strategic planning tools to community and technical colleges in the US and Canada. It can be found online at www.economicmodeling.com.