Washington State Budget Woes: Where’s the Beef?

This is fairly off-topic (although we have covered this subject occasionally in the past), but with all the teeth-gnashing I’ve been reading about lately regarding the latest round of supposedly major cuts required to keep state spending in line with revenues, I thought it might be interesting to look at a couple of charts on […]

How can falling home values = rising property taxes?

Since property tax season has rolled around here in the Seattle area again, I thought it might be a good time to demystify one aspect of property taxes that has often confused home owners during this housing bust. If you’re like many local home owners, the county’s assessment of your home has probably dropped around […]

Olympia on the Economy: Liars, Fools, or Malefactors?

[Note: This is an opinion piece on a political matter. If that sort of thing offends you, it is recommended that you skip this post.] Christine Gregoire, January 2008: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Gregoire said, quoting former President Franklin Roosevelt and referring to national recession fears. “It is a […]

Plummetting Real Estate Excise Tax Revenue Drags on City, State

According to a pair of reports released yesterday, the real estate slowdown is still a serious drag on state and local revenues, thanks to significant sagging in real estate excise tax collections. From the latest state revenue collection report (pdf): Collections [for the March 11, 2009 – April 10, 2009 collection period] were $8.7 million […]

Slow Sales Continue to Drag Down State Revenue

Dramatically slumping real estate sales across Washington State continue to drag down State revenues, adding to an already bleak budget picture. From the latest state revenue collection report (pdf): Taxable real estate activity remained weak in February. Real estate tax activity reported by the counties was 56.4 percent below their year-ago level. January receipts had […]

Local Companies Tighten Belts, King County Cuts Jobs

As the far-reaching economic consequences of the popping of the housing/credit bubble unfold, local governments are feeling the pain. Snohomish County faces a $9 million shortfall for 2009, forcing a hiring freeze. While down in King County, Ron Sims just announced that 255 jobs will be cut. Financially ailing King County will send layoff notices […]