At Last — Positive Economic Developments

Nothing here to increase your stock portfolio or make it likely you can retire sometime before 80, but given how little good news there has been in economic discussions, this has got to be worth something.

Potentially the most significant is that permits for single-family residential units were so high in March that it made the whole quarter almost on par with first quarter last year. January and February numbers were way down, (42 permits submitted compared to 72 a year ago) but March almost made up for it (49 this year, compared to 28 a year ago). Larry Keeton, community development director, said one month does not a trend make. But, he has heard anecdotally that banks are lending again, especially to first-time home buyers.

Second, retail sales taxes were up 13 percent higher in March than budgeted. Instead of hitting $1.24 million as expected, the result will end up being closer to $1.4 million. This, however, appears so far to be a one-time spike caused by construction purchases for the Hood Canal Bridge and the State Highway 16 overpass project.

The county is still planning for a $3 million deficit. County commissioners have asked department heads to come back with plans for a 4 percent cut and a 6 percent cut. The bigger cut could be employed on individual departments if the county’s budget plans don’t call for even cuts across all departments.

One thought on “At Last — Positive Economic Developments

  1. Is an increase in building permits really a positive development? Half the county government bemoans the lack of revenue that accompanies building slowdowns, the other half laments “growth” as the monster destroying our ecosystem. So, what is it?

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