Director of the Office of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, Dr Patrick Barkey appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back Thursday to discuss affordable housing and property tax issues.

Barkey said the seemingly insatiable demand for housing simply cannot last forever, even in Missoula.

“Partly to be honest with you, and it doesn’t get a lot of ink being spilled, is that the request is likely to be temporary,” Dr Barkey said. “When I say that I don’t mean that people of tomorrow won’t need housing, but what I mean is foam in the market, desperation to buy a house now before I go any higher, housing as an investment, real estate speculation, or gee, I would like to move to Montana and I’m just going to buy a house without seeing it, all that sort of thing that’s not going to last forever.

Barkey said excessive housing regulation alone can often drive up prices.

“Multi-family dwellings in single-family neighborhoods for example, or dwellings built without a parking requirement are one of the many presumably well-intentioned regulations that effectively reduce the supply of housing because they make construction very expensive,” he said. he declares.

Barkey also answered a question from an auditor about the disappearance of workers from the market.

“You’ve had a lot of people who just haven’t come back because they were looking at other alternatives,” he said. “Some of these alternatives were funded by the government, of course, but COVID was a benefactor as well. So we’re not surprised that there are people sitting on the sidelines. But, what was surprising was how quickly demand returned. And that’s what really exposed this kind of shortage.

Barkey then responded to a question about raising property taxes, gently berating taxpayers and their complaints.

“I think a lot of what’s wrong with tax policy is the endless search for someone else to foot our tax bill,” he said. “We see that all the time. We see that for example, with people coming up with a very specific sales tax, that is, well let’s tax this and tax that because obviously people do these things and they don’t vote. not and we don’t care about them, or some sort of argument like that. I think that’s a misnomer. I think taxes exist to support government services. The local people have have a say and not just on the services but also on the amount of their taxes Yes, you have a say.

Barkey finished that thought.

“You may be in the minority and you did not vote, but you have your say,” he said. “I think we need to look at taxes a little more rationally and stop looking for other people to pay taxes and not us. I realized it was a bit of a heavy blow and I often feel the same as you do, but at the end of the day as a society that’s what we need to do.

Barkey also promoted the upcoming 47e annual Seminar on economic outlook coming from January to March 2022, with the theme “Where is housing headed”.

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