Friday, July 17, 2009

Now's a good time to raise taxes?

In August, every taxing agency in Ada County is going to set their budgets for next year. Many of those will increase the property tax in the face of falling assessments and home equity. Smart? I don't think so.

This is the litany of economic indicators I gave to the ACHD Commission at our Wednesday work session on the budget. (BTW we were only going to spend ONE hour discussing an $80 million budget- unbelievable. We'll reconvene on Tuesday.)


In Ada County, unemployment went from 5.1% in November 2008 to 9.4% in June 2009, an 84% increase.

The average workweek on nonfarm payrolls fell to 33 hrs/week.

When you add up the total unemployed and marginally attached workers plus forced part time, the national unemployment rate is actually 16.5%.

Third quarter hiring plans nationally for 2009 are at a record low. 67% of employers said they anticipate no change in hiring. A jobless recovery is now being talked about.

Idaho ranks 18th in days spent working to pay state/local taxes at 102 days.

Idaho's state/local tax burden puts us at #13 with #1 being the highest.

Income in Idaho fell in the 1st quarter of 2009 by .8%, worse than in all but 8 states. In the last quarter of 2008, income in Idaho fell .7% while nationally the decrease was .4%.

In Ada County, the Idaho Foodbank Warehouse distributed 31% more food June over June. The St Mark's Foodbank saw an increase of 33% more recipients in June over June. The Meridian Food Bank showed an increase of 51% in May over May with an average 79 new families per month that had never used a food bank before.

It will be at least 1 year before commercial construction comes back. In Ada County there are no land sales, no investment sales and no financing.

In Ada County we have the following: Office vacancies are 14% (up 17% over 2008) with Eagle office vacancies approaching 25%. Industrial vacancies are at 11.6% (up 55% over 2008) with central Boise vacancies approaching 16%. Retail vacancies are at 12.4% (up 29% over 2008) with the Boise airport area approaching 25%.

There are 227,000 sf of office space to be absorbed in the county, 336,000 sf of retail and a whopping 616,000 sf of industrial space.

Home sales are dismal. Of the homes for sale in Boise, 53% are vacant - in Eagle 38% are vacant and in Meridian 50% are vacant. Last year the vacancy rate in homes for sale was 20%.

Many pending sales in Ada County are short sales which may not go through.

Fannie Mae is holding off on foreclosing 765 homes so as to not further affect the downward trajectory on prices.

This is a great article that recently appeared in the Wall St Journal. I don't know how long the link will hold.

So with all that, isn't it a great time to raise property taxes?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home