Ecton: downtown Scottsdale is economic engine propelling city forward

A well-known professor at Arizona State University recently conducted a study that verifies what many of us have known for years: downtown Scottsdale is one of the strongest economic engines for our city.

Wayne Ecton

Dr. Timothy D. Hogan’s study found that the slightly more than one square-mile defined as downtown generates nearly $47 million in tax dollars for the city. That total represents approximately 7 percent of the city’s annual tax revenue.

The study found that close to 28,000 people are employed by downtown businesses and earn $1.3 billion in annual salaries.

According to the study, downtown employees, households, construction activity and visitors staying in downtown hotels and resorts combine to have an economic impact of $4.4 billion per year.

The overall economic impact of downtown Scottsdale on the city is phenomenal. Our organization, the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition, has been created to support the continued success of this area that is so vital in keeping our taxes low and maintaining our unique quality of life.

The following is a brief summary of Dr. Hogan’s study:

1) Employment — 27,970

  • Accommodation & food services — 5,820
  • Health care & social assistance — 5,062
  • Retail trade — 4,754
  • Finance & insurance — 3,307

2) Direct Salaries – $1.272 billion Per Year

3) Direct Economic Impact — per year

  • Downtown Employment — $3.4 billion
  • Consumer expenditures in downtown households — $0.3 billion
  • Consumer expenditures from construction activity — $0.5 billion
  • Consumer expenditures from Travelers Staying Downtown — $0.2 billion
  • Total economic activity: $4.4 billion

4) Direct Taxes

  • Sales — $21.1 million
  • Property — $3.6 million
  • Construction — $0.6 million
  • Building Permits — $0.5 million
  • Bed Tax — $19.2 million
  • State share — $1.8 million
  • Total economic activity — $46.8 million

The numbers do not include indirect or induced impacts that would almost double the direct impact in every category.

Editor’s note: Mr. Ecton is a former two-term member of the Scottsdale City Council and a founding member of the Downtown Scottsdale Economic Vitality Coalition.

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