Economic Research

and Policy Analysis

Northern Economic Consulting, Inc. has been providing economic research and policy analysis to clients in the northeast since 1985. We specialize in providing information on a regional, state level, or local level basis as needed.

Some of our recent research is briefly explained below.

We would be happy to discuss with you any economic analysis you may need.

      Recent Research Projects

  • Measuring the long term impacts of sales tax differentials on Connecticut River valley towns.
  • Measuring job impacts for EB-5 visa investment projects.
  • Investigating the feasibility of alternative funding mechanisms for a proposed long term health care program in the state of Vermont.
  • Estimating the impact of a large retail development on a regional economy for Act 250.
  • Measuring the impact of an electric utility rate increase on low income residents.

 

Selected Project Descriptions

Evaluation of School Financing in Vermont

The Vermont Coalition of Municipalities asked Northern Economic Consulting to evaluate the success of Act 60 in attaining its goals. We found that Act 60 has not reduced property taxes nor significantly reduced differences in school spending.

Benchmarking Vermont Government Spending

The optimal level of government spending for education, public welfare, and other services is always a question of interest to public policy makers. This study compares Vermont government spending to that of the other 49 states, controlling for differing economic and demographic variables.

Job Creation Impacts from an Investment Project

One of Vermont’s premier ski resorts applied for project financing from the federal EB-5 visa investment program. Our study provided the analysis required on the number and timing of the full time jobs created by the resort’s project. Financing was secured and the project has been completed.

Impact of the Vermont Sales Tax on the New Hampshire Border Towns

This study, commissioned by a group of Vermont businesses, examined the impact of Vermont’s sales tax on the retail economies of Vermont and New Hampshire along the Connecticut River, where the states share a common border. In 1968, neither Vermont nor New Hampshire had a retail sales tax and per capita sales in the border counties were identical. In 1969, Vermont instituted a 3 percent sales tax, which rose to 4 percent in 1982, 5 percent in 1997, and 6% in 2003. By 2007, per capita retail sales in the New Hampshire border counties were 65 percent higher than on the Vermont side of the river.

Housing Affordability in Vermont

The Vermont Business Roundtable commissioned NEC to provide an analysis of housing prices and affordability in Vermont. Our study details the cost of housing in each county in the state and looks at the number and price of houses available to lower income Vermont families in 1999. Also included is a detailed examination of prices for each town in Chittenden and Rutland Counties.