Category Archives: Economics

Opinion – New York Daily News: Canceling rent won’t solve housing woes

As Americans stagger through a bewildering pandemic summer, buffeted by shutdowns and job losses, millions face each coming month with an additional dread: making their rent payments.

In response to the crisis, numerous states and localities have enacted eviction bans and rent deferral schemes. Unfortunately, such extreme measures are unjust, unlawful and counterproductive.

Governments have taken varied approaches to the threat of people being ousted from their homes en masse. California’s courts closed their doors to all eviction proceedings, even if the reason for eviction had no relationship to the pandemic. Seattle banned evictions related to non-payment so long as a tenant can “self-certify” they aren’t paying rent due to economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, and landlords must allow tenants 18 months from the end of the city’s state of emergency to repay that money. And Ithaca, N.Y., became the first — but likely not the last — city to attempt to forgive rent altogether.

While it may seem intuitive to absolve renters of their obligations during an emergency, such laws force one group to bear the burden of the crisis: landlords. They don’t get much sympathy, but landlords are often ordinary people facing the same challenges we all face. Continue reading

Study: Impact of Hirst Decision Will Have Far-Reaching Implications on State’s Economy

On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the so-called “Hirst” case. The implications of this decision have the potential of eliminating all or nearly all new household or exempt wells in rural Washington.

During the 2017 legislative sessions, press conferences of all four corners (both caucuses in both houses) and the Governor’s office repeatedly told the press there would be a Hirst fix, yet it didn’t get done. BIAW commissioned HR2 Research and Analytics to examine the economic impacts resulting from the Court’s decision. The results from the study reveal a significant impact to rural communities and residents as well as other parts of Washington state:

  • $6.9 billion lost in economic activity each year in Washington, predominantly in rural communities
  • $452.3 million in lost employee wages due to the impacts of Hirst, annually
  • Nearly 9,300 lost jobs (FTEs) in rural Washington, annually
  • $392.7 million in lost taxes to state and local governments, annually
  • $4.59 billion in losses to the construction industry, annually
  • $37 billion in lost property values in areas impacted by Hirst
  • $346 million in property taxes shifted to other properties in Washington due to the decision

The HR2 report indicates that the Hirst decision will have exponential and far-reaching impacts in Washington state, with large effects and costs to rural communities.

To read the entire report click here.

Building Industry Association of Washington Press Release



Safe Boats broadens shoulders for bigger work

Safe Boats International has begun to build two of five and possibly six large state-of-the-art Mark Six patrol boats for the Navy. The 78-foot aluminum fast vessels are giants compared to almost everything else Safe Boats has built in 15 years. They are so large that Safe Boats couldn’t build them at its cramped quarters in Bremerton. Earlier this year, it leased the cavernous building at a remote tip of the Blair/Hylebos Peninsula at the Port or Tacoma to get the $35 million job done.

The Mark Six boats, two of which are being built now, hold the possibility that Safe Boats one day will consider the big-boat market as its main bread and butter. If funding permits, the Navy hopes to buy many more of the bigger vessels, and Safe Boats wants to build them — along with other types of boats twice the length of its small boats.

“The goal wasn’t to have just Mark Six. The goal was to be in the large-craft market,” said Mark Talbert, senior vice president of large-craft operations. A couple of other boats are being worked on at Safe Boats’ new large craft production facility. They include a 49-foot Riverine Command Boat the Navy has had in operation for five years that’s now being retrofitted, as well as a big-boat prototype. The first Safe Boats big boat that’s on the job is a 65-foot fireboat now in New York Harbor, delivered in 2010.

Read the full Kitsap Sun article

The Questions to ask our Elected Leaders in Bremerton and Kitsap County:

Where in Kitsap County could a successful company be allowed to expand on the shoreline under the new Shoreline Master Plan regulations?

Why are we forcing an obviously successful company to expand in Pierce County?

If I wanted America to fail…

Scientists turn seaweed into fuel with E. coli.

The next time you get an order of miso soup, take a look at the seaweed lurking in your bowl. That same type of seaweed could some day power your car.

Scientists from Bio Architecture Lab, Inc (BAL) and the University of Washington in Seattle have found a way to turn seaweed into fuel with the use of genetically modified Escherichia coli, most commonly known as E. coli, the Scientific American reported. E. coli is a bacteria that can show up in food and make humans ill.

Continue reading

Two questions for city and county planners.

Teresa Osinski is the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Kitsap County. She sat in on this month’s Kitsap Alliance board meeting to help board members kick-off the new year. In a short presentation, she suggested that all those present, our membership, and all citizens interested in good government, encourage their elected representatives to ask two questions as a filter for any and all proposed regulations:

  1. How does this proposal improve the health, safety and welfare of the public?
  2. How does this proposal move the economy forward?

If the answer to #1 is, “it doesn’t, or we don’t know” then the answer to number two had better be that “it will and here’s how.”

The sense of the Kitsap Alliance board was this… if our elected representatives don’t want to ask these questions and filter proposed regulations accordingly, we should all vote for ones who will.

Commissioners Could Declare Shoreline Homes Conforming

As explained below, Kitsap County Commissioners could use Senate Bill 5451 to financially save the shoreline property owners from over regulation using no science. What will be their choice?

Continue reading

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes, Who Pays?

If the value of shoreline property is decreased by the non-conforming label, what will be the effect on the county tax base?

One thing that worries shoreline property owners is that the label “non-conforming structure” will inevitably decrease the value of their property.   There is good evidence that this may be happening already, as is reflected by the fact that shoreline property is falling in value much faster than inland property.  An interesting consequence is that shoreline property taxes are falling while inland property taxes are being forced to rise, to make up the difference.

Continue reading

Will Removal of Septics Make a Difference?

by Dr. Donald Flora, PhD

The Kitsap Sun’s April 13 front page coverage of the Hood Canal fish kills and the “pivotal role” of septic systems, is misleading. Research has indeed supported the premise that bay-borne nitrogen, impelled to the Canal’s surface by winds, nourishes vast amounts of plankton that die, sink and decay, thus starving fish of oxygen. One might think we can interrupt the sequence by stoppering septic nitrogen discharges. But that seems unlikely.

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey has pointed out that the ocean provides Hood Canal’s Lynch Cove (the problem area ) with over 100 times as much nitrogen as do septic discharges. It follows that somehow halting all septic nitrogen output wouldn’t make even a wee dent in nitrogen inflows nor fish mortality.

House Bill 1307

by Micheal Gustavson, Director, Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners

I sent this individually to each member of the House Environment Committee…

I request you support House Bill 1307 Concerning standards for the use of science to support public policy”.

Private property owners in our state have been unfairly burdened by “Big Dumb Buffers” imposed by Department of Ecology and the Growth Management Hearings Boards for the past dozen years or so.

When asked to provide proof of harm or scientific justification for these rulings, property owners have been met with the response that the science is not available, but will be forthcoming.  We are now progressing with Shoreline Master Plans, again dictating big dumb buffers with no attempt to provide proof of harm or measured science to show harm.

Only with the requirement that State agencies produce independent, peer reviewed science, will we be able to craft environmental regulation that is effective, without destroying our economy by artificially driving up the cost of permission to build.

Continue reading