BIAW Asks Governor to Call Special Session to Fix Hirst

BIAW sent a letter on October 4, 2017 asking Governor Inslee to call a new special legislative session to allow legislators to provide a durable fix to the Hirst decision and also vote for the capital budget.

Rural communities face an average rate of 8.2 percent unemployment (higher than urban areas) according to the state Employment Security Department’s September report. These unemployment figures combined with the economic study’s results show Washington’s rural families will likely suffer extreme economic losses and gravely affect businesses and rural economies in the state if there is no permanent Hirst fix.

In addition, the decision will decrease local government tax collections and impact urban and suburban home and land owners. Hirst-impacted properties are expected to lose up to 70% of their value, increasing property taxes in urban and suburban areas as a result of the property tax shift.

To read the full press release and copy of the BIAW letter to Governor Inslee, click here.

Study: Impact of Hirst Decision Will Have Far-Reaching Implications on State's Economy

On October 6, 2016, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in the so-called “Hirst” case. The implications of this decision have the potential of eliminating all or nearly all new household or exempt wells in rural Washington.

During the 2017 legislative sessions, press conferences of all four corners (both caucuses in both houses) and the Governor’s office repeatedly told the press there would be a Hirst fix, yet it didn’t get done. BIAW commissioned HR2 Research and Analytics to examine the economic impacts resulting from the Court's decision. The results from the study reveal a significant impact to rural communities and residents as well as other parts of Washington state:

  • $6.9 billion lost in economic activity each year in Washington, predominantly in rural communities
  • $452.3 million in lost employee wages due to the impacts of Hirst, annually
  • Nearly 9,300 lost jobs (FTEs) in rural Washington, annually
  • $392.7 million in lost taxes to state and local governments, annually
  • $4.59 billion in losses to the construction industry, annually
  • $37 billion in lost property values in areas impacted by Hirst
  • $346 million in property taxes shifted to other properties in Washington due to the decision

The HR2 report indicates that the Hirst decision will have exponential and far-reaching impacts in Washington state, with large effects and costs to rural communities.

To read the entire report click here.

For a summary handout on the economic impact study of the Hirst decision click here.

Join us for the 9th Annual Tribute Awards Nov. 16

$95 | Winner's Circle Social 4 - 6 p.m. | Awards Gala 6 - 8 p.m.

The New Home Council and the home builders we serve want to recognize those front-line players who through innovations, creativity and just plain hard work, have carved out success in the past year, day-in and day-out. These sales, construction and marketing teams have shown their stuff. You know who they are. Your teammates who never give up. The agent who inspires their team to new heights. Sales professionals who help customers make one of life's most important decisions. Let's recognize those who bring "game" with fresh ideas, brimming energy, and contagious enthusiasm. From star rookies to lifetime professionals who continue to learn and grow, Tribute celebrates these outstanding achievers every year.

Register for the Tribute Awards Gala here

Clock Hour Class Topic: Don't Get Prepared. Stay Prepared. Staying Sharp in a Hot Market
Presented by HomeStreet Bank
$40 | November 16 | 1-4:00 p.m.
Sign in starts at 12 Noon

Guests will learn more about communication and buyer psychology in this three-hour training experience than they might in a semester of classes at your local college!

Register for the Class here

Rural WA in Peril: Permanent Hirst Fix Needed

BIAW is dismayed by the state Legislature’s failure to pass a permanent fix to the Washington State Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. With no stable or long-lasting solution in place, those impacted by the Hirst decision face an unpredictable financial future and no answers about when, where and how they can build in rural areas in the future without reliable access to household wells. A permanent fix would have given small builders, local governments, and property owners long-term certainty.

Not solving this problem harms at-risk communities in need of economic growth and development. In the year of construction, each new home constructed accounts for nearly 3 full time jobs and 1.4 annually reoccurring full time jobs. “It’s really sad the house Democrats and Governor haven’t accounted for these private sector job losses for the communities in our state that need it the most,” said BIAW Executive Vice President Art Castle.

BIAW President Ted Clifton added: “The state needs a realistic and actionable approach to help small business builders, families, and rural towns and counties plan effectively so they can invest time and resources wisely and responsibly. Homebuilders need lawmakers to pass a reliable, permanent fix to the Hirst court decision.”

Read the full Hirst press release here.

Senate Passes BIAW's Fix Hirst Bill

Senate Bill 5239 passed by a 28-21 vote on Tuesday, February 28, which is a first step in an effort to put in place a legislative fix to the Washington State Supreme Court's ruling known as the Hirst decision. The Senate bill is now on its way to the House for consideration. BIAW's advocacy team, members and staff urged senators to pass this bill as a legislative fix to the devasting decision.

"Very few can build because of this ruling. The impacts are already being felt," said BIAW President Ted Clifton. "Without a fix, I expect it will create more economic hardship for small business builders and families that own land and want to build their dream homes."

Learn more about the Hirst ruling and its impacts across the state at Fix Hirst!

2017-18 R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment is Open!

The R.O.I.I.® Select team is currently accepting applications for the January quarterly enrollment!

To find out if you qualify for R.O.I.I.® Select, download the 2017-18 application form.

For more information contact R.O.I.I.® Select Enrollment Coordinator Jessica Bass at (360) 352-7800 ext 132, or

Local Association and Member Referral Map

BIAW is proud to offer an interactive map linking users with BIAW members and their local homebuilders association.

Users can click on a county which will link them to the corresponding local homebuilders association's website. At that point a search can be initiated to find members by service/product, type of company, etc.

BIAW Local Association and Member Referral Map

The Economic Impact of New Home Construction in Washington State

Recent research and data from BIAW, NAHB and the US Census Bureau provide an irrefutable case for the benefits of home building. New home construction is a leading revenue and job generator in the state of Washington and, if encouraged, could lead the state's economic recovery.

Economist Dr. Elliott Eisenberg shows us how and why in this entertaining, interesting video highlighting the economic impact of new home construction in Washington.

New Home Construction State's Third Largest Employer

The National Association of Home Builder's Housing Policy Department research estimates the first-year impact of 13,825 new single-family homes built in Washington State is nearly $3.1 billion in state and local revenues, $729 million in state and local taxes and 41,000 jobs.

For the full press release Click here

Just how much do Washington state employees make?

Find out using the OFM database showing gross pay for workers at state of Washington agencies, colleges and universities.