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Policy Research

Laboratory staff conduct research on economic and public policy issues affecting South Carolina and its residents, with an emphasis on economic impact analysis and state and local government tax policy.

Selected Economic Impact Analyses

Impact of Future Population Growth on Berkeley County School District Finances

This analysis projects the revenue and expenditure stream of the Berkeley County, SC School District through 2035, given projected population growth. Analysis includes the effects of the Volvo manufacturing facility, the location of which in Berkeley County was announced during the writing of this report. School construction needs and costs are also projected. This model utilized the REMI modeling platform and the Fiscal Impact Analysis Tool. Read More

Economic Impact of the 2016 Greater Greenville Scottish Games & Highland Festival

This analysis estimates the impact that the festival had on Greenville County based on visitor spending, as gauged by a survey of attendees. In addition to economic impacts, the impacts on sales tax and local hospitality and accommodations taxes were also estimated. This model utilized the IMPLAN modeling platform. Read More

Economic & Fiscal Impact of The Citadel Military College

This report details the estimated economic impact of The Citadel on the counties within the Charleston, SC metropolitan statistical area and on the state of South Carolina through 2020. It also estimates the impact of the college on state and local government revenue and expenditure streams, providing an estimate of the return on tax investment (ROTI) of the Citadel. This analysis utilized the REMI model and the Fiscal Impact Analysis Tool. Read More

Fiscal Projection for Lancaster County Government & Lancaster County School District

As part of the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metro area, Lancaster County, SC is projected to see continued population growth over the next several years, leading to increases in demand for public education and general local government services as well as impacting revenue sources. This analysis projects general fund revenue and expenditure streams for both county government and the school district through 2025, estimating the impact of population growth on the net fiscal position of each. This model utilized the REMI modeling platform and the Fiscal Impact Analysis Tool. Read More

Online Catalogue

Other work done by Laboratory staff includes the following reports, which can be located by the Clemson University Library’s online catalogue. Please note that our entire catalog is not yet online. If you cannot find what you need, please check back soon or contact a CU-REAL staff member

Updating Base Student Cost, by Ellen W. Saltzman and Holley H. Ulbrich. 2017. Prepared for the South Carolina Department of Education. 

In the 40th anniversary year of the Education Finance Act of 1977, this report evaluates the state’s school funding policies by examining the foundation education program and EFA base student cost from its inception in 1977 to the present day. An updated base student cost per pupil is estimated for 2015-16.

The Projected Economic & Fiscal Impact of Exempting Military Pension Income from South Carolina Income Tax, by Robert T. Carey. 2015. Prepared for the South Carolina Military Base Task Force.

This study examines the impact that exempting military pension income from South Carolina income tax would have on the state’s economy as well as state and local net government revenues. 

South Carolina Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study Phase 2, by Kenneth Sercy, Robert T. Carey and Ellen W. Saltzman. 2014. Prepared for the South Carolina Energy Office. 

This project assesses the economic impact of installing and operating a demonstration scale offshore wind farm on the state of South Carolina. This work involved two main tasks, an economic and fiscal impact analysis and an electric rate impact analysis.

Act 388 and the Minimum Guarantee, by Ellen W. Saltzman and Holley H. Ulbrich. 2014. Prepared for the Jim Self Center on the Future.

Act 388 of 2006 provided relief to South Carolina homeowners from school property taxes, resulting in a substantial shift in state education funds among school districts. This report focuses on one aspect of Act 388, the guarantee of a minimum of $2.5 million per county in Act 388 funds. The report shows that Act 388’s minimum guarantee results in large sums per pupil in some low enrollment districts while providing no aid at all to districts equally in need of funding, most of them failing to qualify because they are poor districts in larger, multi-district counties. 

South Carolina State Library LibraryServices and Technology Act (LSTA) Five Year Plan Evaluation FY 2008-2012, by Lori A. Dickes and Ellen W. Saltzman. 2012. Prepared for South Carolina State Library. 

In this study, the  authors were the external evaluators of the South Carolina State Library’s federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Plan for FY 2008-2012.The South Carolina State Library is the administrative agency for LSTA funds. Researchers developed an evaluation plan that included a retrospective assessment of projects and activities implemented by the State Library and county public libraries over the funding period and a process assessment of State Library processes and procedures in the use and implementation of LSTA funds. 

South Carolina’s Green Economy: Business, Jobs and their Impact, by John D. Mittelstaedt, Ellen W. Saltzman and Robert T. Carey. 2011. Prepared for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

The purpose of this report is to understand the nature of the green jobs economy in South Carolina, and to measure its economic impact on the state. This report identified green industries, which produce green products or provide green services. It also identified green occupations.