Gov. John Carney recently announced the results of the first independent economic impact study of Delaware’s 16 state parks.
Against the backdrop of the ceremonial lighting of the World War Two-era Tower 3 at Delaware Seashore State Park, Carney, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and other officials lauded the economic impact DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has in Delaware.
The study, conducted by Rockport Analytics, shows that in fiscal 2016, nearly $400 million was generated by out-of-state park visitors, with spending assessed at about $245 per visitor on various goods and services in the state.
“The economic impact of our state parks on our economy is tremendous,” said Gov. Carney. “Our state parks provide Delawareans and visitors with fun things to do, but also support nearly 6,700 full- and part-time jobs across the state and made a significant contribution to state and local taxes. We are proud of our state parks and their positive impact on the economy and quality of life in Delaware.”
The study also shows that:
— For every dollar of operating general fund tax dollar support state parks receive, $40 was returned in economic activity. That is more than the return of neighboring states, including Maryland, $18; Virginia, $13; and Pennsylvania, $12.
— If there were no Delaware state parks system, each Delaware household would need to pay an average of $151 in additional state and local taxes in order to maintain current levels of tax receipts.
— In 2016, nearly $53 million in state and local taxes were generated by the parks system, including $12 million in hotel taxes, $4.7 million in income taxes and $9.5 million in property taxes.