Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?*

I know that I get bashed by some readers for being too cynical, too hard on governing bodies who are "trying" to make things better. So I know full well that some of you will disagree with what I'm about to say...But really, how excited should anyone get about the "economic development tax break" the County has just approved?
A $100 purchase in unincorporated Clallam County will cost 20 cents less when an open-ended sales tax holiday takes effect July 1.
Let me repeat that underwhelming news for you, in case the scale of it escaped you the first time.
A $100 purchase in unincorporated Clallam County will cost 20 cents less when an open-ended sales tax holiday takes effect July 1.
Clallam County is really Ka-ching a break!
Gosh! What will people do with all those savings? Attention Scott Nagel: Get ready for a flood of 20 cent donations.
Are these guys kidding? Really? This is it? This is the best you could do?
Yep. Let's go to Commissioner Mike Chapman, who has put the flipped in flip-flop, for an enthusiastic explanation of this grand plan:
"It's obviously not going to change anybody's life, but it might help. It might help. I don't know. I don't have the answer."
Points for honesty, Mike ("I don't know."), but demerits for you for voting for something you don't seem to understand, believe in, or are able to actually endorse.
Meanwhile, back on planet Facts and Figures...Stan Creasey, the chief accountant in the County's own Auditor's Office, had this to say about the plan to spend down the County's reserves:
The commissioners’ spending plan would reduce the general fund balance to perhaps $9.5 million by the end of the year and could result in a $1.8 million deficit for 2016, Creasey said.

Spending down reserves would put the general fund “back into a position of financial panic” that could be exacerbated by another recession, he added.
Save those dimes, folks. You're gonna need them.
Clallam County: Doubling Down on the Depression.
*Thanks to The Simpsons for letting me borrow their title.


  1. Footnote - literally...I just finished reading the morning paper, and it contained a coupon from my preferred shoe store downtown. The coupon is good for $20 off a purchase of $100 or more. So, though I hadn't planned on buying shoes this weekend, I'll be doing so now. That kind of savings motivates me to stock up on the shoes I wear (and wear out) regularly. A coupon for 20 cents off of a $100 purchase would not have the same motivational power for me, or, I suspect, for anyone. Anyway, the comparison was just too perfect not to note.

    I always like going to this particular store, because they have a super friendly dog that "works" there.

  2. You make a good point. This decrease in taxes is small to the individual, but will apparently reduce county government coffers by $750,000 to $1,000,000 per year, as long as it is in place. That means that money will stay in private sector pockets, and might be some help to the economy. As small as this tax break is, can you imagine the outcry if the county had INCREASED the sales tax by the same amount? What are your ideas? Anybody? Anybody?

  3. This is the most idiotic idea I have seen come from those who rule us in a long time. McEntire is kowtowing to his anti government base and strangling the operating revenue of the county at the same time. Not to mention the eff-you provided to county staff since the commissioners did not restore the 40 hour work week first. Instead they chose to deploy a completely symbolic act, telling their consituents that they despise government as well will providing most with a $20 rebate max in a year.

  4. I'm at least glad they are considering reinstating the 37.5 hour County employees to 40. It's the least they could do. The sales tax reduction is a joke though.

  5. Twenty dollars is a savings.

    Twenty cents is a joke, an insult.

    The people making this decision aren't worth twenty cents apiece.

  6. Well hell....I mean, Swain's is offering 25% off everything if you put it in their Swain's bag that came with the paper today. Maybe we ought to put the Swain's management in charge of economic development here. They couldn't do worse than the bozos doing it now.

  7. Wow! This is the kind of leadership that makes me proud of living in Clallam County! The Commissioners have struggled mightily to come up with this great solution to our pressing problems.

    Just fabulous.

  8. As tax holidays go, this isn't even an overnighter; it's more like leaving work an hour early.

    On Monday.

  9. As someone who used to consider Mike Chapman a friend, it's painful to watch his ongoing public meltdown. I don't know if there's more to it than the pressures of his job, but clearly the man is beyond burnt out and is grasping at straws.

  10. I mean, kudos for at least thinking of giving the tax base back to the people, but... really? I mean, really? I think it would have been better served on infrastructure or bumping employees back to 40 hours a week or something. It's so minimal a savings that it really isn't a savings at all. Kind of like bank savings rates. Why bother?

    Come to think of it, since I don't buy much at Walmart, I don't think I really shop in Clallam County... So for me this is doubly useless.

    1. Investing the same amount in infrastructure would have benefits for everyone who lives here. Restoring staff to 40 hours would have benefits for most people here as well, not just the staff members.

      But neither of those moves would allow the commissioners to play up to their anti-tax, all government is BAD base. So we get back policy, bad fiscal management, and more to come.

    2. I'd call this a limp-wristed, insincere gesture -- intended to be "look what we did for you, peasants". They might as well tell us to eat cake.

    3. If they dedicated that same tax break and invested the same money into building of a wood pellet mill-- in no time we could create 150 -200 jobs.

      Train welders at PenCol to make wood pellet burning stoves and we create another 150 jobs. Develop markets for both in Asia and we are fat. A million a year invested in real, and I mean real job creation efforts is a no-brainer. They can't be so stupid--it must be by design. British Columbia, just across the strait, will open 3 new wood pellet mills this year. Must be a market eh? Their wages are 50% higher than ours so I know we can compete in the world market.

  11. Can you believe the State (government) giving "their" money to the port (government) who is using "their" money along with the county (government) putting in "their" money and "their" patners at the city (government) and college (government) putting in some of "their" money if the feds (government) grant some of "their" money for a composite business that "could" make this thing or that thing and then they predict hundreds of jobs. God, whatever happened to business plans that actually made sense. Could you imagine a private company starting such a hair brained idea? I guess if you are spending other peoples money and call it yours then its okay? ???