Brigham Young University may have property-tax-exempt status, but its economic impact on Utah Valley is still considerable.
A 1986 BYU study by National Research Associates, with updated 1990 figures, shows that the university expended more than $108 million last year into the area.Dee Anderson, BYU administrative vice president, said he feels the university contributes substantially to the Utah Valley area.
Though the university realizes that it is exempt from some taxes, Anderson said, "There is no question in my mind that our contribution is significant."
According to the updated figures, BYU full-time personnel spend approximately $56 million annually for food, housing, transportation, clothing, medical care, personal care and gifts.
The university also employs about 10 percent of Utah County's non-agricultural work force and pays about the same proportion of the county's non-agricultural wages.
Anderson said BYU's multiplier factor, or the amount that BYU employees spend that is re-spent in the valley, is based on a very conservative figure.
According to the study, the multiplier represents about $71 million in indirect income. But it might be much more, he said.
"We want the people who work and attend BYU to enjoy the area," Anderson said. So, the university wants to do everything possible to keep everyone happy.
According to the report, BYU provides other opportunities for economic growth.
The university attracts more than 1 million visitors a year to campus events such as athletic activities, the Special Olympics and Education Week.
Also, BYU's Comprehensive Clinic provides about $948,000 a year in psychological, counseling and social work services to the community.
The university wants to help in any way possible, said Anderson. "If we roll over, we are so big that we can easily pull the blanket off someone else and we don't want to do that."
The report said other positive effects on Utah Valley are that BYU educates about 9,000 Utah-resident students, which saves the state's education systems about $50 million a year.
Also, BYU personnel pay about $18 million in federal income taxes and about $6 million in state income taxes.