Kosciusko County lakes are valued as sources of recreation and scenery but are less often recognized for their economic value. Grace College’s Lakes and Streams Center is quantifying that economic value.
In the early stages of the on-going study the center found and reported that sport fishing in Kosciusko County is a $27.8 million annual industry. The next phase of the study identified the impact that lakes have on property taxes and values. The study found that in 2012 the presence of lakes in Kosciusko County directly generated at least $15 million in additional property tax revenues for the county. The total property tax revenue for the county is about $60 million.
“Stated another way, without the presence of lakes the annual county tax revenue would fall from $60 million to $45 million,” said Nate Bosch, center director.
The research also revealed that property values around the lakes have a total value of $3 billion, which is predominately made up of single family home properties.
“These tax revenues and property values are subject to change with improved or degraded health of our lakes,” said Bosch. “Therefore, the research, education and collaborative efforts of this center and others are critical for county public services, economic development and personal wealth considerations.”
Future economic research at the center will examine the boating industry, tourism and retail sales.
For more information on the study contact the center at [email protected] or 547-372-5100, Ext. 6445. The full report is available online at water.grace.edu. Grace College’s Lakes and Streams Center focuses on water research, education and collaboration throughout Kosciusko County.