#5 February 2019/Bisbee economy

Hello, We are fortunate to have a reporter as diligent as Shar Poirer. Writing for the Herald Review, she has been filing articles about the water suit (It's BLM vs. Freeport and developers) being heard in Phoenix. It is likely to be the most definitive legal decision about who get what water in the San Pedro watershed for the coming years. The Herald Review is spending some dough, a significant outlay, to keep her in Phoenix to cover this trial that restarts on 2/25. It is an important legal decision that likely will affect water use in, and development around, the San Pedro watershed for decades. Check it out here: https://www.myheraldreview.com/news/cochise_county/sprnca-needs-assessed-by-both-sides-in-water-rights-trial/article_d3d31f9e-3232-11e9-a599-0bd7805d1cb7.html Speaking of the Herald Review I have several free one month online subs to giveaway. First 10 peeps and I will arrange to get you the biz card of the publisher which is the gateway. Lemme know at bisbeewire@gmail.com Despite opposition from two councilpersons over the salary range (they thought it too high and this position should not be on par with the fire or police chief...Lindstrom/Cline), the job of Tourism Director was approved at the last council meeting 4-2. An item regarding hiring outside legal help was pulled from the agenda by Ms. Johns, with possibility of it being put back on an agenda at another date. The City Manger sitch remains... ummmm obscure I guess is the word.  There is no official word from the City about anything. Is he working? Has he left? Is he employed? Was the resignation accepted by the council legal or not? It is unclear who is in charge day to day. There is a search committee that was appointed by the mayor to look for an interim. Wondering out loud whether there could be like a Troika, three Bisbee people appointed to share joint interim responsibilities for the next few months. (A Troika is a group of three people working together, especially in an administrative or managerial capacity) That way there would not be the need for a full time person which might be difficult to find in Bisbee. The other recourse is the League of Cities and Towns which is where R. Smith came from. Stay tuned.... fred @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ SLACK....FOR BISBEE BUSINESSES COMMUNICATION  There is an effort among several businesses to use Slack, a communication system, in Bisbee. This is for businesses only. Morgan of Bathtub Coffee and Rob of The Table are heading up the effort. I've joined and although it is a fledgling effort I can see where it could be valuable for inter-communication among businesses as well a system that may be good for individual businesses. I'm checking it out for Roka.  It seems like a viable alternative to a business organization and likely more efficient. Slack bills itself as a collaborative hub. For info: https://slack.com/features  However I thought the video not too helpful. A demo by Morgan showed me much more. And I'm reading a book which is  called Take Control of Slack, it can be bought here: https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/slack If there is interest I can try and coordinate a Slack workshop for those interested. email me at bisbeewire@gmail.com. In the meantime go to the site, set up an account (it is free) and sign into Bisbee Local to see how it is being used. **************************

MY OPINION IN ARTICLE IN CAPITAL TIMES

PSPRS is bankrupting the City. I suggest a different reform in this opinion piece. Although the acknowledgement was cut from the piece, the original idea came from Ed Gilligan, Cochise County Administrator https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2019/01/31/legislative-inaction-could-lead-to-bankruptcy-for-small-cities/ ************************** LOCAL FIRST PASSPORT PROGRAM A SUCCESSLocal First announced their Bisbee passport program had 138 passports collected and generated $23,787.07 in revenue to local businesses. The program consisted of 24 local businesses that you could purchase from for the holidays. Once you made a purchase from one of the businesses you received a sticker with the amount of your purchase. When you spent $150 or money in 5 stores you were entered to win one of our 9 prizes. It was coordinated by Rachel Hudson of Local First.

...................................... THEY BE TALKIN' BOUT BISBEE

Arizona Highway TV has a piece on Lowell. https://www.azfamily.com/shows/arizona_highways_tv/southern_arizona/what-makes-bisbee-so-quirky-and-quaint/article_64348a4a-2433-11e9-8179-c71d495dfd64.html

Dive Bars/St. Elmo's...NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORICAL PRESERVATION https://savingplaces.org/guides/7-historic-dive-bars-across-the-country?fbclid=IwAR1NL23myqJwTX9hNToFkYzFl3gZVV2yEExQaP17vEL8IcRs7SAgEtqBqBw#.XFou-VVKiUl

The Exbats...local band featured http://www.btrtoday.com/read/musicmeetup/the-exbats-are-the-feistiest-father-daughter-duo-ever/?fbclid=IwAR3e02xmKfN-s2k35BHo0MBOeIvivE3WpLlAkBdcjTPDqPVt6Im4Cm1oIL8 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ COSTS and NEGLIGIBLE BENEFITS OF AIRB&B


An important paper from the Economic Policy Institute has findings of interest to communities affected by air b&b. There is growing anecdotal evidence that air b&b's and VRBO's in Bisbee are causing a shortage of long term rental properties thereby raising the rental price of remaining properties, particularly in Old Bisbee. There are also complaints that neighborhoods and blocks are being disrupted by the prevalence of short term visitors. And there is some evidence I have collected that points to adverse economic impacts on traditional lodging in Bisbee. In the coming months I hope to ascertain how many actual properties are listed, locations, and research what other communities have done. From that, devise a package of suggestions for the City of Bisbee.

.......

"But in many local markets, the arrival and expansion of Airbnb is raising questions about its potential negative impacts on local housing costs, quality of life in residential neighborhoods, employment quality in the hospitality industry, and local governments’ ability to enforce municipal codes and collect appropriate taxes."The economic costs Airbnb imposes likely outweigh the benefits.The shift from traditional hotels to Airbnb lodging leads to less-reliable tax payments to cities.City residents likely suffer when Airbnb circumvents zoning laws that ban lodging businesses from residential neighborhoods.Because Airbnb is clearly a business competing with hotel lodging, it should be subject to the same taxation regime as hotels.Airbnb might, as claimed, suppress the growth of travel accommodation costs, but these costs are not a first-order problem for American families.Rising housing costs are a key problem for American families, and evidence suggests that the presence of Airbnb raises local housing costs. The potential benefit of increased tourism supporting city economies is much smaller than commonly advertised.Property owners do benefit from Airbnb’s capacity to lower the transaction costs of operating short-term rentals, but the beneficiaries are disproportionately white and high-wealth households.https://www.epi.org/publication/the-economic-costs-and-benefits-of-airbnb-no-reason-for-local-policymakers-to-let-airbnb-bypass-tax-or-regulatory-obligations/

OPPORTUNITY ZONES

Parts of Bisbee are in one of these zones. It is an opportunity to attract long term investment to our area. Read on.... Opportunity Zones are specific areas, set up by the US Dept of Treasury to encourage long term investment in 'economically disadvantaged' parts of the country.  Il Duce determined the 144  opportunity zones in Arizona. All are based on census. (Bisbee is Census Tract 04003001100) And, as in other states, there are some areas in Arizona that clearly are not 'economically disadvantaged' due to gaming the system. The technical description of investment possibilities are here: https://www.azcommerce.com/arizona-opportunity-zones/ 

Bisbee's boundry excludes all of OB, and 1/4 of Warren. Roughly it is east/south  of hwy 80 at the traffic circle, East/south of Bisbee Rd in Warren continuing to Purdy lane, south of 92 and southeast of Purdy Lane to the border. Better yet here is the map showing each census tract in the state.

https://azcommerce.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=be88b47979a5443aac8efede74266b91&extent=-13302635.6656%2C3491928.5569%2C-11443687.1377%2C4529026.1567%2C102100

This is the article explaining Wall St. salivating https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/20/business/taxes-hedge-funds-investors-opportunity-funds.html?emc=edit_cn_20190221&nl=politics&nlid=6100543520190221&te=1

..................... BISBEE ECONOMY

City data from Joe Ward/building inspector, Housing from Bob Klein, State from ADOR) In the midst of administration turmoil in the City of Bisbee, the economy keeps chugging along. At the end of this are a few stats of national/state park visitation and total bank, credit union deposits compared to a few previous years. Articles of IncorporationKid Canyon LLC 67 Main St. Tami Sue Cook Bisbee Home Works LLC238 Purdy LaneThomas Enriquez **************************

Houses sold

(Keep in mind that Bisbee's housing market is relatively small, one or two sales, large or small, can skew the data. It's prudent to take a long view rather than the monthly ups and downs. That said....

2018 was a good year for selling and buying houses. For the year there were 152 houses  sold, three more than in 2017. However the $3,000,000+ difference in value of those houses was substantial. ($20,880,259 to $17,548,783). As was the average sale price $137,429 compared to $117,777. Houses were on the market less days also 156/182. And it took fewer days to close 156 to 182. The end of the year housing market continued strong. The number of active listings has dropped from earlier in the year. In April/2018 there were 128 listings (compared to 132 in 2017), however in January 2019 there were 77 active listings (compared to 116/2017) and that was a drop of 7 homes from the 84 on the market in Dec 2018.  In December of 2018 compared to December 2017 there were fewer houses on the market that sold for more money in less time. December 2018  84 houses were on the market compared to last December’s 119. Sale price was up this December $7k more than last December and significantly shorter time on the market at 163 to 269. This year 11 houses sold/$1,400125,  compared to 16 last year/$1,928,500. The average sale price was $127,284. January of 2019 was a repeat of January 2018 with homes on the market a longer time. 11 houses sold for $1,718,001 at an average price of $156,182 and  compared to 1/2017 when 10 houses sold for $1,552,482 at an average price of $155,248.  However houses that sold were on the market a much longer time this month (264/174 days). Who knows...higher selling prices perhaps? 'better' houses? one house skewing the stats?. The comparison with December is striking, homes sold for almost $30k more in January.  Draw your own conclusions from this; less sellable homes? fewer people moving/dying? not time of year to put a home on the market? market slowing down? people not going through multiple listing service (MLS, from which these stats are derived)?


Building Permits

As noted last issue, building permits typically tail the housing market as new owners remodel, rebuild, repair the structures they have purchased and existing homes also have work done.  December was no exception with 20 residential permits totaling $233,145. Commercial sales have been minimal this year and building permits reflect that. With the exception of the rebuild of Chiricahua Clinic and their remodel of the print/stich building into a pharmacy in Warren, commercial activity has been anemic with mainly low cost repairs. There  have been no new builds either residential or commercial; I think for years.

Sales Tax

Arizona Dept. of Revenue has once again begun sending tax collection info for individual cities. That's a good thing. The not so good thing is I have been unable to get past data for comparison. So the only data I have so far is for FY 19 (beginning July) through December.  $56,479 in Bed taxes have been collected (2.5% + 1%). Restaurant/bar taxes have been $189,567, and Retail has generated $419,137.Within those six months, some ups and downs. I remain perplexed by the relationship between lodging and restaurant/bar. In August and October, lodging was down significantly but r/b was up. Not having 2017 data for comparison  is frustrating to see how those relationships change over a year. I continue to work on this to get some accurate info. I'm not entirely sure I'm reading it correctly. Anyway for your edification...



from CER https://cochiseeconomy.com/data-and-statistics Bank Deposits2018 $87,165,000; +$5mil from 2017, +$6mil from 2016,+$23 mil from 2014, -$11mil from 2007 Credit Union Deposits 2018 $9,779,400 -$600k from 2017, -$800k from 2016, +$3 mil 2011 National and State Parks Visitation Kartchner is up 5.8% for the year (175,868/166,223) Tombstone Courthouse SHP  is down -6.4% for 2018 compared to 2017  43,789/46,770 Chiricahua is down -3.9% for the year (64,177/66,732)Coronado is down -19.7% (105,726/131,614) &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&FM&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

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