Events held at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, located in Huntington, WV, attract thousands of attendees into the region each year. CBER conducted an analysis of the economic impact of the Arena through an in-depth analysis of annual Arena expenditures and attendee spending at Arena events. The resulting analysis determined that approximately $17 million in total economic output are attributed to the Arena annually (including the direct, indirect and induced effects), and that nearly 190 full-time equivalent area jobs are sustained year-to-year due to its presence. Results from the attendee spending survey and non-quantified benefits of the Arena were also examined.
CBER was contracted by the West Virginia Division of Energy’s Office of Coalfield Community Development (OCCD) to assess the impact of establishing businesses on prior coal mining sites. CBER evaluated employment figures collected by county Economic Development Authorities in three regions in West Virginia to determine the individual impacts to local economies in those areas. The resulting analysis estimated total economic output to be approximately $1.9 billion, cumulative across the three regions. This development sustains more than 19,600 full-time equivalent jobs year-to-year.
In response to a February 2013 report revealing that West Virginia is one of six states that experienced in increased rate of juvenile incarceration between 1997 and 2010, CBER reviewed state policies in states with reduced juvenile incarceration rates, analyzed statistics related to these rates and discussed viable options that could reduce youth incarceration in the State. The report found that the majority of incarcerated juveniles did not commit violent or major crimes; that long-term alternatives—such as early childhood initiatives—contribute to reduced rates; and that rehabilitating existing juvenile facilities to accommodate adults (rather than constructing new adult prisons) should be given due consideration.
With the discovery of the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, production of natural gas and other valuable byproducts has increased dramatically. As a result, West Virginia must plan for and set policies in place to seek maximum economic benefits. In this study, various incentives and policies for manufacturing available in West Virginia, as well as those in other states, were examined. The main incentives studied include various types of tax credits to promote manufacturing. CBER determined that improving the value-added opportunities from natural gas requires carefully-established policies that encourage a broad investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and education and workforce training.
This study examined property tax exemptions for nonprofit camps across nine states. The authors found that these exemptions are often inconsistent and recommended that terminology—specifically “exclusive” and “used exclusively”—be clearly defined; acreage exemption limitations be provided in all cases; and that legislation should specify permissive use of net income exceeding rental property expenses.
This study reviewed and compared state and local tax burdens in West Virginia and five surrounding states, particularly with respect to firms considering doing business within state borders. The authors considered other factors influencing this decision, including location, access to resources, the quality of the workforce and amenities. If held equal, these factors would be superseded by the tax burdens in business location decisions. Concluding results found that West Virginia ranks above the national average when measuring taxes as a percentage of state personal income and when considering state and local revenue to state personal income. When adjusted by residency of the taxpayer, West Virginia’s state and local tax burden falls below the national average.
Graphic depicts the flow of West Virginia energy (both supply and consumption) for the year 2011. Values for the chart are based on EIA production and consumption data for the same year.
This report details the results of the 2013 Consensus Coal Forecast for the Special Reclamation Fund Advisory Council. CBER considered historical West Virginia coal production; demand in the electricity and industrial sectors; and international coal exports to seven countries. Compared to the 2012 Consensus Coal Forecast, the 2013 results were found to be slightly higher, partially due to the EIA raising 2013 projections for Appalachian coal production while reducing Western coal production projections as a result of vacating the CSAPR.
CBER presentation at the 2013 Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER) Fall Conference. This presentation provided a background of education in West Virginia, particularly related to decisions that led to an investigation of education finance and policy beginning in the 1980s, and reviewed CBER’s contribution to West Virginia education policy over a nearly 20 year period.
CBER presentation at the 2013 STaR Symposium. This presentation discussed factors affecting the utilization of renewables—including institutional, economic and technical factors—with a focus on the PJM territory.

Report unavailable for public release.