Lake Travis Economic Impact Report releasedPosted by Jonas Lord on Sep 30, 2011 in Lake Austin Real Estate, Lake Travis Real Estate | 0 comments
The Lake Travis Economic Impact report was released to the public yesterday. The report was ordered by the Lake Travis Community Coalition consisting of local governments, non-profits, and businesses to establish a baseline and determine the fiscal and economic effects of low lake levels or poor water quality on the region surrounding Lake Travis.
The area of the study is limited to the area immediately surrounding the main body of the lake entirely in Travis County. Essentially the report concludes that less people visit the lake as the lake levels drop, but it also seeks to quantify the impact of the reduced visitation on the area immediately surrounding the lake. The results of the report are summarized below.
• $207.2 million in revenue for state and local governments
• $8.4 billion in assessed property value
• $3.6 million in hotel and mixed beverage taxes
• 3,900 commercial businesses in study area contribute $45.2 million in sales tax
Low Lake Level Impact
When lake levels remain below 660 feet, visitations decline and businesses contract.
Low lake levels lead to:
• 350,000 – 375,000 fewer park visits
• 29 lost jobs for each 10% drop in park visits
• $23.6 million to $33.8 million reductions in visitor spending
• Up to 241 lost jobs and $6.1 million in wages
Low lake levels decrease visitors and value and can impact government
revenues substantially. When levels are low, governments could lose up to:
• $21.9 million in total fiscal revenues
• $1.7 million lost sales tax revenue
• $45,000 from decreased hotel receipts
• $120,000 from less visitors ordering mixed drink
Impact of Water Quality
One of the most desirable features of Lake Travis is its water quality. Studies of other lakes around the country suggest that for each meter drop in water clarity, there would be a 10% drop in waterfront land values.
What can be done?
Obviously rainfall totals are out of anyone’s control. What we can control is the rate at
which water is let out of the dams to flow downstream. Recently, there has been talk of
cutting off rice farmers near where the Colorado River flows into the Gulf of Mexico, but that
would essentially trades hardship in one area of Texas for hardship in another. More than
anything we need to pray for rain and an end to the record drought, which is could become the worst drought on record by Spring 2012.
Sources: bullet points and images taken directly from The Lake Travis Economic Impact report or overview of the report.
You can view the report in it’s etirety here. For more information on Lake Travis Real Estate, contact Jonas Lord @(512)496-0215