Every election cycle, commissioners run on a “good jobs” platform promising to reduce the number of commuters heading over to Oregon and then proceed to go out and approve more growth management changes favorable to the residential construction industry. When the hang over comes, as it is now with a vengeance, the county then has nothing to fall back on other than increased retail sales taxes.
It’s really kind of sad to watch how the Republican majority on the Clark County Board of Commissioners doesn’t seem to understand how fundamentally things have changed. Not only would re-inflating the bubble be a bad thing, it’s also unlikely to happen any time soon. The easy credit rip-off days are gone, and the banks aren’t going to fuel the speculation again.
So the question is: does it matter that much to the regular workers if they’re pouring foundations for an endless, sprawling bedroom community versus bridge footings, new schools and light rail projects? Residential construction, after all, requires a huge public investment for roads, sewers and other public services, so since it’s taxpayer money maybe taxpayers deserve a better value for their dollar.
We can still have a vibrant construction sector that creates a better community, it’s just that the people who made fortunes building subdivisions will have to adapt to changed circumstances. You know, like in capitalism!
Clearly the BIAW-types think everyone else in the county owes them a time machine, and the way to make the time machine work is to give them tax breaks. Luckily the citizenry of Clark County kind of let the BOCC have it and the BIAW isn’t getting every last thing it wants. Now that’s progress!