Monthly Archives: February 2011

Department of Revenue offers free tax workshop for businesses

This press release from DOR …

Olympia, Wash., February 24, 2011 – The Bremerton office of the Washington State Department of Revenue is hosting a free workshop for new and small business owners on Thursday, March 10, from 9-11 a.m., at the Sheridan Park Community Center, Rooms B and C, 680 Lebo Blvd., in Bremerton.

Participants will learn about Washington excise taxes, reporting classifications, deductions, tax incentives, sales tax collection, and record-keeping requirements. All receive a workbook and helpful reference guide to Department of Revenue rules and regulations.

To register, visit the Department of Revenue Web site at or call (800) 647-7706. Space is limited. A complete schedule of workshops statewide, and a short streaming video version of the workshop in English and Spanish, is available on the Web site.

Some bits and pieces about Kitsap coming from the 2010 U.S. Census …


Here’s what I’ve picked up so far from the 2010 U.S. Census. More to come as more becomes available. Rachel Pritchett, reporter

Kitsap County’s race makeup remained virtually unchanged in the past decade.
According to the 2010 census, 85 percent of Kitsap residents were Caucasian; 5 percent Asian; 3 percent African American; 2 percent Native American; 1 percent Pacific Islander; and the remainder were other races or a combination.

The proportions were almost identical to those in the 2000 census.

Bremerton was the most racially diverse city. Seventy-seven percent of the population was Caucasian, 7 percent Asian, 7 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent African American.
Bainbridge Island was the county’s whitest city. Ninety-one percent of its population was Caucasian, 4 percent Hispanic, 3 percent Asian and .4 percent African American.
“The cost of housing affects the diversity on the island, because there’s a connection between income, race and ethnicity,” said Ken Balizer, executive director of the Housing Resources Board, a group that works toward greater diversity by providing and maintaining affordable housing opportunities.
Here’s another tidbit:
Kingston proportionally has the most empty living units. Fifteen percent of all living units in Kingston were empty.
In Port Orchard, only 7 percent of all its homes had no one living in them, according to the census.
“In a lot of ways, this area up here is a second-home market,” explained Carter Dotson, broker/owner of the Windermere office in Kingston. The tough housing market has meant that fewer people can buy those second homes, he said. Many of them are waterfront homes.

Thursday stocks slide for third day as oil floats around $100 mark

Midday Dow at 12,024, down 81 points. Oil at $99.77 today.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell for the third straight day Wednesday as surging oil prices overshadowed signs of an improving job market.
Oil prices neared $100 a barrel as clashes in Libya intensified between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government protesters. Rebels control much of the eastern part of the country, effectively splitting Libya into two.
Libya is the world’s 15th largest exporter of crude, accounting for 2 percent of global daily output. Traders are worried the revolt could threaten Libya’s oil production and spread to other countries in the region, such as oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Higher oil prices can also slow the U.S. economy by increasing transportation costs.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 79 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,026. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 7, or 0.5 percent, to 1,300. The Nasdaq composite fell 3, or 0.1 percent, to 2,719.
The Labor Department said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the job market is recovering. The four-week average for applications, a figure closely watched by financial analysts, fell to its lowest level in more than two and a half years. The Commerce Department said sales of new homes fell significantly in January, another sign that the housing industry is still struggling
Several companies rose after announcing better than expected earnings.

Wednesday stocks fall on Libya tensions

Dow at 12,125 at midday, down 87 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are falling for a second day after oil prices hit two-year highs and computer giant Hewlett-Packard said its revenue growth is slowing.
Oil prices jumped 2.5 percent as clashes continued between Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces and anti-government protesters. Libya accounts for 2 percent of the world’s daily oil output.
Hewlett-Packard sank 10 percent after announcing a disappointing revenue forecast for the rest of the year. It was the worst performing stock in the Dow Jones industrial average. Chevron Corp. rose the most in the Dow, and other oil stocks also rose.
The Dow is down 49 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,163 in midday trading Wednesday.
The S&P 500 is down 5, or 0.4 percent, to 1,310. The Nasdaq composite is down 24, or 0.9 percent, to 2,731.

Rise in Kitsap gas prices accelerates

Today, the average price of a gallon of unleaded in Kitsap County is $3.41, according to auto club AAA. That’s up 2 cents from yesterday and 9 cents from a week ago. How far will it go? The price of oil just passed $100 a barrel today, which isn’t comforting. Rachel Pritchett

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil passes $100 per barrel for the first time since October 2008.
Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude on Wednesday rose $4.59 to $100.01 in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which can be shipped around the world and better reflects global demand, hit $100 per barrel on Jan. 31 and is now approaching $112.
Prices have jumped in the past week as protestors in Libya clashed with supporters of Moammar Gadhafi and appeared to gain control over parts of the country. Oil companies working in Libya have pulled workers and idled production operations that provide oil and gas mainly to Europe.

Kitsap gas prices keep on rising

Today’s average price for a gallon of unleaded in Kitsap is $3.32, up a penny from Tuesday and up 51 cents from this time last year. Oil prices continue to rise, signaling no downward turn in the near future, at least. Here’s some explanation of that:

Associated Press
Oil prices moved up toward $85 a barrel Wednesday after a report showed U.S. crude supplies unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting demand may be improving.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for March delivery was up 27 cents at $84.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 49 cents to settle at $84.32 on Tuesday.
In London, Brent crude for April delivery gained 62 cents to $102.26 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Analysts said the wide gap between the Nymex and Brent contracts, over $14 for contracts expiring in April, would likely hold for now.
“The shrinking supply of North Sea oil should continue to support the price of Brent, especially as demand for crude oil from this region is robust,” said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “This suggests that Brent will retain a price premium over WTI, even if the price gap does narrow in the coming months, as we expect.”
The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude inventories fell 354,000 barrels last week while analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., had forecast an increase of 2.8 million barrels. Crude supplies at the key Cushing, Oklahoma terminal rose 250,000 barrels.
Inventories of gasoline rose 1.2 million barrels and distillates dropped 1.2 million barrels, the API said.
The Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data — the market benchmark — later Wednesday.
“Recent (API) surveys have been exactly in line with the energy department’s when it comes to Cushing, which bodes well for prices today,” energy consultant The Schork Report said. “If the energy department corroborates, the (oil price) bottom may be behind us for now.”
In other Nymex trading in March contracts, heating oil rose 1.4 cents to $2.743 a gallon and gasoline gained 1.4 cents to $2.5028 a gallon. Natural gas futures were down 1.9 cents at $3.957 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Wednesday midday stocks rise

Dow now at 12,249, up 22 points.

NEW YORK (AP) — Strong earnings results and another round of corporate deals led stocks higher Wednesday.
Family Dollar rose 22 percent after investor Nelson Peltz’s firm offered to pay up to $60 a share to take the discount retailer private. That was a 36 percent premium from Tuesday’s closing price. Family Dollar rose the most of any stock in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Genzyme rose nearly 2 percent after French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis agreed to buy the U.S. biotechnology firm for $20 billion in cash. The deal ended months of haggling between the two companies.
Dell Inc. rose 10 percent a day after the personal computer maker raised its revenue forecast for the fiscal current year, a sign that businesses are spending more on computers, servers and other technology.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. rose 6 percent after the teen clothing maker said its fourth-quarter net income nearly doubled on strong sales overseas and better U.S. results.
Comcast Corp. also reported earnings that surpassed analysts’ expectations. Its stock rose 3 percent after more customers signed up for a combination of TV, high-speed Internet access and digital phone services.