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Latest Facts and Figures about
Florida State University’s Economic Impact
on Tallahassee and Leon County

Last Updated: January 2016


Overview

  • FSU’s campus is comprised of 542 buildings on 1,550 acres. The primary Leon County facilities include the downtown Tallahassee main campus; the Seminole Reservation — a recreational facility; the Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering facility; and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and Division of Research at Florida State’s Southwest Campus.1
  • FSU is an institution of 41,773 students supported by about 2,180 regular faculty and 411 OPS faculty as of the Fall 2014 semester.2 The university has a total beginning annual operating budget of approximately $1.3 billion for the 2014-15 academic year.3
  • The approved appropriated fiscal year 2015 operating budget for the City of Tallahassee totals $697,292,003; this is a 5.2% increase over the estimated 2014 budget.4 FSU’s operating budget is 1.8 times greater than the City of Tallahassee’s operating budget.
  • As of March 23, 2014 FSU maintained a payroll of 14,140 employees and the average bi-weekly payroll was $24,473,618. Approximately 48.8% of these employees were OPS and the total payroll for fiscal year 2014 (including gross salaries and employer paid benefits and taxes) was $636,314,057.5

Economic Impact

  • In the fiscal year 2009-10 FSU’s institutional operations, payroll, and capital improvements generated an additional 23,540 jobs and $636.9 million in additional labor income.6
  • In the fiscal year 2009-10 spending by FSU students generated 5,065 additional jobs and $152.1 million in additional labor income.7
  • The economic impact of the lifetime earnings of 2009-10 graduates of FSU is estimated to be $9.8 billion in total output, 87,525 additional jobs, and $3.9 billion in additional labor income.8
  • The total economic impacts of Florida SUS institutions in FY 2009-10 for all spending for operations, payroll, capital improvement, student living, and present value of graduate earnings is estimated to be $11.9 billion in total output, 116,130 additional jobs, and $4.7 billion in additional labor income.9

Faculty

  • University faculty and staff contribute to the local economy through purchases and taxes. Using a median rent of $950 per month for 2,591 regular and OPS faculty this calculation comes out to $2,461,450 per month or $29,537,400 per year.10
  • Leon County implements a 1 cent sales tax as a source of revenue for the county. It is estimated that the average resident of Leon County will pay $13.72 in sales taxes to the county in 2015. The 2,591 regular and OPS faculty are estimated to contribute $35,548.52 in sales taxes to Leon County in 2015.11
  • There are 31,637 FSU alumni who live and own businesses in Leon County. Around 35,000 faculty, staff and alumni retire here in the Big Bend area continuing to be a part of its economic health.12
  • FSU researchers have been very successful, bringing in $230 million in contracts and grants in the fiscal year 2014, an increase of 13% from 2013. Florida State faculty members have attracted $207 million annually in contracts and grants between 2010 and 2014.13 Through April of 2015, FSU faculty have received $12.8 million in funding to support their research.14

Students

  • FSU students bring spending into Leon County. Students spend money on tuition, books, school supplies, housing, food, transportation, clothing, and entertainment. These expenditures vary by the residency status and degree level of each student. For all 41,773 FSU students this amounts to an estimated $950.8 million in spending brought to Leon County.15 16 17
  • The 41,773 students at FSU are estimated to contribute $573,125.56 in sales taxes to the Leon County in 2015. This accounts for 15% of total predicted sales tax revenue to Leon County in 2015.18

Capital Expenditures

  • As of May 2015, FSU spent $102.4 million on construction projects in Leon County in 2014 and 2015. FSU has an additional $409,450,000 in construction spending planned through the year 2020.19
  • FSU receives funding for capital expansion projects through the state of Florida’s Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) program. In the fiscal year 2014-2015, FSU received $5,681,291 in PECO appropriations20 and $6,745,521 the previous year.21
  • The campus electric utility bill (to the City of Tallahassee) was $18,390,629 at the end of the fiscal year 2014 – approximately 7.03% percent of the City of Tallahassee’s total electric utility revenues.22
  • FSU Florida State University is the top user of electricity in the City of Tallahassee followed closely by the State of Florida.23 In 2014 the university used more electricity than Florida A&M University, the Leon County government, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Wal-Mart, and the federal government combined.

Visitors to FSU

  • In 2007, almost 630,000 people visited Leon County for reasons related to FSU—from prospective students and their families to the world’s most eminent scientists and artists. Altogether, they spent over $200 million on shopping, restaurants, entertainment, groceries, lodging, transportation, sports activities and events, arts and cultural activities, and other attractions.24 In 2014 the average visitor to Tallahassee spent $331 per day and $895 during their entire trip.25
  • Game weekends bring in a significant amount of tourism to Leon County. During the 2014 football season, out-of-town attendees brought $48.1 million in in direct spending during the 7 home games.26
  • Visitors also booked 74,427 nights and spent $10,125,000 on lodging. In total, 2014 FSU football home games resulted in $94.2 million of economic impact on Leon County.27
  • Typical out-of-town attendees spent $459 per day and $1,193 per trip.28

Athletics

  • The FSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has a proposed budget of $86.8 million for the fiscal year 2014-15, a 15% increase from the approved budget of $75.2 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year. This includes a proposed $31.7 million in proposed compensation and benefits spending for 2014-15, which is an increase of 21% from 2013-14.29
  • As of the pay period ending March 13, 2014, the Athletics Department maintained a payroll of 362 employees.30 During football season, FSU adds hundreds of additional part-time opportunities alongside approximately 1,000 people who volunteer for different service organizations.31

FSU Foundation & Volunteer Work

  • For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014 the Florida State University Foundation allocated $16,720,425 in gift commitments dedicated to student financial aid.32
  • In the fiscal year 2014 the Florida State University Foundation allocated $56,820,050 in total gift commitments supporting scholarships, fellowships, professorships, eminent scholar chairs, programs and other resources at Florida State and to the local, regional, national and even international community.33
  • For the 2014 calendar year, 6,352 Florida State University students reported a total of 322,266.5 hours of volunteer work through the FSU ServScript program.34 Assuming those students had been paid $8.05 per hour35 to perform their volunteer work, it would have cost local businesses, government, and nonprofit organizations approximately $2.6 million in salaries.
  • Faculty and staff volunteers at FSU also contribute their time, skills and funds to countless volunteer and community outreach efforts.

Compiled by the FSU Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis


Footnotes
  1. Hodges, Alan W. et al. Economic Contributions of the State University System of Florida in Fiscal Year 2009-10 . March 2012
  2. Hodges, Alan W. et al. Economic Contributions of the State University System of Florida in Fiscal Year 2009-10 . March 2012
  3. Hodges, Alan W. et al. Economic Contributions of the State University System of Florida in Fiscal Year 2009-10 . March 2012
  4. Hodges, Alan W. et al. Economic Contributions of the State University System of Florida in Fiscal Year 2009-10 . March 2012
  5. Florida State University Office of Communications 2011
  6. Florida State University Office of Institutional Research, Fall 2014
  7. Florida State University Beginning Annual Operating Budget for Fiscal Years Y14-15
  8. City of Tallahassee Fiscal Year 2015 Approved Operating Budget
  9. Beverly J. Miller, Associate Controller, Payroll Services, Florida State University, personal communication
  10. http://www.zillow.com March, 2015
  11. Leon County Board of Commissioners FY2014-15 Annual Budget, 5 Year Financial Plan, and Capital Improvement Program
  12. Jonathan Wallace, FSU Foundation/Information Assistant & Writer, Public Affairs, personal communication
  13. Florida State University Office of Research FY2010-14 College Comparisons of Award Dollars (All Sources)
  14. Florida State University Office of Research Monthly Awards Reports
  15. Estimated student expenses came from Hodges, Alan W. et al. Economic Contributions of the State University System of Florida in Fiscal Year 2009-10. March 2012
  16. Estimated student expenses came from Florida State University office of Admissions
  17. Student enrollment numbers came from Florida State University Office of Institutional Research, Fall 2014
  18. Leon County Board of Commissioners FY2014-15 Annual Budget, 5 Year Financial Plan, and Capital Improvement Program
  19. Lawrence Rubin, Director of Design and Construction, Florida State University Facilities, personal communication
  20. Florida Department of Education 2014-2015 Capital Projects Plan
  21. Florida Department of Education 2013-2014 Capital Projects Plan
  22. City of Tallahassee (COT) Annual Report to Bondholders February 2015
  23. City of Tallahassee (COT) Annual Report to Bondholders February 2015
  24. FSU-related visitor expenditures based on 2004 visitor’s spending data for FSU with estimated percentage reduction provided by Dr. Mark Bonn, and calculations performed by CEFA
  25. Lee Daniel, Director of the Leon County Tourism Development Council, personal communication
  26. Kerr and Downs Research, Florida State Football: Estimated Economic Impact on Leon County
  27. Kerr and Downs Research, Florida State Football: Estimated Economic Impact on Leon County
  28. Kerr and Downs Research, Florida State Football: Estimated Economic Impact on Leon County
  29. FSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics 2014-2015 Budget Reporting Package
  30. Beverly J. Miller, Associate Controller, Payroll Services, Florida State University, personal communication
  31. The Orlando Sentinel and Michelle Pohto, Athletics Administration, personal communication
  32. Florida State University Foundation Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2013-2014
  33. Florida State University Foundation Annual Report: Fiscal Year 2013-2014
  34. FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change
  35. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity January 1, 2015 Minimum Wage Poster