Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Knopp unfit to serve in government

A home that the government helped build
 by subsidizing local builders
On the day the daily newspaper ran an op-ed piece by state Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) titled "What we must do to improve Oregon's future," it also ran a news story about a housing project that benefited local builders first and home-buyers second.

Yet, Knopp, executive director of the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA), opposed the plan that ultimately kept some of his builders busy building homes during the Great Recession.

In 2006, the city adopted an "affordable-housing fee" on new construction to assist those who couldn't afford Bend's skyrocketing housing prices. The fee was all of one-third of one percent.

Naturally, Knopp claimed, according to the paper, that it would inflate the housing market.

Knopp and builders oppose any fee that builders have to pay up front, including impact fees for roads, water, sewers or parks. In other words, builders despise anything that benefits the community before it benefits them.

Of course, the city bent over (again, this is why the city is known as Bend Over), and agreed to defer impact fees during the Great Recession and beyond. And, when it renewed the affordable housing fee in 2011, the city reduced the amount to one-fifth of one percent.

Still, the builders saw an opportunity and formed a "non-profit" group with the Orwellian name of "Building Partners for Affordable Housing."

They did this so they could directly recover the fees they had paid to the city.

Let it be known that no one has ever prevented the builders from building affordable housing. During the boom times, it is estimated builders in Bend were clearing more than $200,000 per home in profit.

Well, as we all know, the local housing market deflated quicker during the bust than it inflated during the boom.

Builders and suppliers went out of business by the score.

Yet, the "affordable-housing fee" rescued some builders from bankruptcy. Also, the federal government chipped in a tidy $250,000 in 2008.

Ten homes were constructed in a small subdivision in southeast Bend that sold for $160,000 to $180,000 per home, and more are planned nearby.

Amazingly, one of COBA's leaders said this to the daily: "It's still some irony to me that you charge more for housing to build other housing."

Clearly, he has no idea that government just saved his ass.

It's also very clear that Knopp, who opposes any tax hikes or fees even if it benefits his constituents, has no clue that government was the only entity to help builders during the Great Recession.

Knopp has no idea how to "improve Oregon's future," because he definitely doesn't know how to improve Oregon's present.

No comments:

Post a Comment