Bloomsburg University - Economic and Community Impact

Bloomsburg University is central to the Bloomsburg MSA economy. Employing 1,070 FTEs directly, it is the second largest employer in the region after Geisinger Health System. Using detailed data provided by Bloomsburg University, CGR estimated the impact of BU employee, operational, construction and student spending on the local and regional economies. CGR estimates that an additional 790 jobs in the region result from BU spillover spending for a total job impact of 1,860 jobs. The university’s impact extends much further than the people it employs directly, however. Perhaps the most significant contribution is the impact on the cultural climate of the region. Although this cannot be measured directly, the community would be much poorer without the opportunities provided by Bloomsburg University. Are students net contributors to the Town of Bloomsburg or do they impose more cost than benefit? Using addresses from 2017 and 2018 school years, CGR was able to match student addresses to their corresponding tax parcels. The assessed value of these parcels total over $5.4 million, 4% of the taxable total assessed value of the Town of Bloomsburg. These parcels bring in an estimate $400,000 annually in property tax annually to the county, town and school district. A large student population often drives higher calls for service to the local police. CGR did gather and compare police spending per capita for a large number of similar-sized Pennsylvania municipalities and found Bloomsburg’s costs to be slightly below the reported average. A more detailed analysis of the locations for Bloomsburg Police Department calls for service data also confirms that demand for police service is widespread throughout the town and not clustered near student housing.

Report Date: Jun 2019
Author(s): Kent Gardner , Michael Silva , Yiwei Wang
Subject(s): Economic Analysis , Education

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