Mining vs. Tourism Economic Impacts submitted by DeeVon Quirolo
US Travel Association Report – County Level Data – Provided by Visit Florida
2010 Hernando County Data
- Travel Spending = $86,570,000
Travel Generated Payroll = $32,180,000
Travel Generated Employment = 2,000
Travel Generated State Tax Receipts = $4,470,000
Travel Generated Local Tax Receipts = $2,260,000
2013 Hernando County Data
- Travel Spending = $93,690,000
Travel Generated Payroll = $34,920,000
Travel Generated Employment = 2,090
Travel Generated State Tax Receipts = $4,680,000
Travel Generated Local Tax Receipts = $2,540,000
These figures from Visit Florida show that the economic impact of tourism is growing in Hernando County and accounted for more than $93 million dollars in travel spending in 2013, employed over 2000 people, and generated over $34 million in wages. It was an increase over the figures for 2010, which reflected over $86 million in travel spending, 2000 employees and over $32 million in wages.
In comparison, the Economic Profile on Mining prepared by the Withlacoochee Regional Planning Council concludes that: “Mining and Cement Manufacturing operations employed 274 people in 2014 in Hernando County…… This translates to an average annual contribution of approximately $3.5 million from the Mining sector and potentially $8.76 million from the Cement Manufacturing sector to Hernando County’s total wages and salaries. A continuation of mining will not significantly increase economic activity in Hernando County, and impacts of a gradual decrease in mining activity will also be relatively small. However, the Scenario impacts are negative, signifying that the total amount of growth in these indicator categories will be less than the Baseline.”
Therefore, it is in the county’s best economic interests to promote nature tourism instead of mining and you can’t have it both ways. Mining at such an ill-chosen, high profile location would deter such sustainable economic growth. Cyclists who now choose the scenic canopy road will be repelled by its destruction should a conveyor belt be allowed over it. Visitors to Brooksville will be discouraged by the visual blight of an open pit industrial mine operation at the entrance to our historic town, regardless of the setback; it will encompass hundreds of acres on a slope that will be excavated over 20 years, creating a chronic health hazard for all at the hospital and all the residents of the area.
Thank you for the opportunity to bring this valuable information to your attention so that you can make a wise decision on April 28th.
All the best, DeeVon