The report — compiled by consultant Productive Impact LLC of San Luis Obispo — said the university adds direct financial impacts totaling $1.1 billion and $313.9 million in indirect spending.
Indirect spending is assessed based on the ripple effects of money being spent and then re-spent.
For example, a dollar handed over to a store would be parceled out and re-spent by the store’s suppliers and landlord, among others, producing additional local economic impacts, according to the study.
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The 60-page report was authored by Kenneth Riener, a Cal Poly professor emeritus of finance, and Patrick Mayeda, who received his master’s degree in business administration from Cal Poly.
The report cites past totals of $1.1 billion total generated by Cal Poly in 2002-03, the last time a similar report was compiled, and about $1 billion in 1998-99.
The study assesses economic drivers such as university payroll, local university purchases, student and visitor spending and student volunteer work.
“Cal Poly is a vital and positive economic force on the Central Coast,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong in a statement. “It is one of the region’s top employers and most stable employers, helping the area weather economic downturns.”
The largest flow of funds comes from payroll, which had a direct annual output of $254 million, according to the report.
Student spending was assessed at about $160.7 million and visitor spending was tallied at $21.9 million, with bed taxes being the largest component.
The university enrolls about 19,700 students, who paid an estimated $11.7 million in local taxes and provided more than $2 million in volunteer labor to nonprofits from Paso Robles to Santa Maria.
And the university paid $14.7 million in sales taxes and $13.2 million in property taxes, using the “multiplier” model that incorporates indirect expenditures.
Because of the university, restaurants receive an estimated $53.9 million in business, retail stores take in $27 million, and hotels and motels garner $17.7 million.
According to the latest data compiled by the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce in 2012, Cal Poly was the second-largest employer in the county with 2,426 employees, trailing the county of San Luis Obispo with 2,601 employees.
However, the study counted 2,741 Cal Poly employees for 2013.
The university makes up almost 2.5 percent of the county’s 110,000 employees.
The average salary at Cal Poly, calculated based on gross payroll in 2012-2013, was $79,904.
Cal Poly spent $15.9 million on local goods and services to help maintain campus operations, plus $16.1 million on facility construction and upgrades in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the study said.
The report used a variety of sources to compile data. Those included information from the university’s Administration & Finance Division, which provided data on Cal Poly spending, student enrollment and payroll; a survey of 256 students of various class levels living on and off campus; Cal Poly’s Facilities Planning & Capital Projects; a computer program called Impact Analysis for Planning that helped assess the impact of local spending by Cal Poly and its students, faculty, staff, retired employees and visitors.
The study projects an economic impact of nearly $2 billion by 2022 based on a growth project of 1 percent per year in student enrollment.