As we head in to the 2019 budget season, we’ve been starting to review some of our traditional community metrics, including construction investments going on in Kent.
From a revenue perspective, the City only receives a small fraction — about 5 cents on the dollar — of property taxes but property investments are still a good indicator for the overall health of the local economy.
Generally speaking, when investments are up, the economy is improving — and the City will receive income taxes for construction workers while they’re working in Kent and that helps the City’s bottom line.
Whether investments are going up or down is somewhat relative because it’s tough to compare anything to the enormous investment that coincided with the downtown redevelopment. Everything seems down after that era.
In the 11 years prior to the downtown redevelopment (1999 thru 2010) commercial construction investment in Kent averaged $6.5 million a year. Coinciding with the downtown redevelopment in 2011 and 2012 commercial investment jumped to an average of $55 million/year (an increase of 745%).
In 2017, the mix of new public and private investment kept construction investment levels approximately double the pre-downtown redevelopment 10 year average but well below our 2011 peak.
What we think that means is that Kent is holding it’s own, is viewed as an investment worthy community, but we don’t want to let ourselves get complacent.