Spokane Airport News back in 2001, 2005 and 2006

This is the last of the items on the airport that have been queued up.

Back in 2005, a growing Spokane International Airport represented economic growth for Spokane:

Spokane’s level of passenger growth is higher than the national average of 3.6 percent, Woodard says.

These numbers are a strong indicator that Spokane’s economy is growing at a robust rate, faster than the nation as a whole,” he says. “As a region, that’s a point of pride.”

….

Nonstop service invigorates the market, because of its ease and convenience,” Woodard says. “For our community’s economic growth in attracting capital investment, the Bay Area is the place for biotech and electronic development, and not having that nonstop flight puts us at a disadvantage.”

The Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce’s air service marketing task force has been trying to reestablish nonstop service to the Bay Area for the past several years by talking to representatives of major carriers, such as Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, says Rich Hadley, the chamber’s president and CEO. He says the airport’s current passenger numbers indicate a strong economy, which could be boosted by increasing traffic to the Bay Area.

via SIA expects to soar to record | Journal of Business | Find Articles at BNET.

And in 2006:

“Spokane is more on the map than it’s ever been,” Hadley said. “The airport’s current numbers indicate a strong economy, which could be boosted by gaining more traffic from the Bay Area. Also, there’s a lot of interest in us coming out of California. The issue in San Jose is that we have more economic ties there than we had 10 years ago. Also, attracting capital investment is important here and the Bay Area is the right place for (financing) biotech and electronic development. Without nonstop flights to that area, we’re at a disadvantage (in attracting capital).

No kidding! VC money has dried up in Spokane. My contacts say if you want VC investments, you need to move to Vancouver, Seattle, Portland or the SF Bay area.

January 2001, Spokesman-Review:

North Idaho and Spokane have long struggled to show up on the short lists of computer and software companies looking for places to do business. The ability to travel to bigger cities, in a short amount of time, adds to the desirability of our region. Agilent Technologies and World Wide Packets for instance, frequently send their employees to California for meetings. …

Rich Hadley, president of the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce, e-mailed 130 companies in the region and asked them to consider the negative impacts of the canceled flights.

via The Spokesman-Review.com – Let’s tell United we stand together.

The last sentence is, in retrospect, funny. Apparently they did consider the negative impacts of the canceled flights. Agilent and World Wide Packets, mentioned in the story, closed their Spokane operations, as did numerous other high tech companies.

Certain classes of workers need to travel – including high skilled, highly educated sales and marketing, engineering, science and other staff. Other classes of workers do little business travel – warehouse workers, blue collar manufacturing including construction, retail sales, restaurant and hotel workers, and work that must be done locally, such as health care. Which kind of workers is Spokane left with?

The solution to Spokane’s economic dilemma, as always, is to pour more concrete into favored constituencies, says the 2006 edition of the Airport Journals :

Spokane International Airport (GEG) has become a major aviation hub for Eastern Washington and Western Idaho. Increased airline flights, an expanding aerospace business park and an $82 million capital expansion program in progress have spurred recent growth. By the end of 2008, the capital improvement program is expected to generate a ripple effect in the region, creating 3,246 direct and indirect jobs and infusing $203 million into the area’s economy, according to an airport study.

In fact, the area lost 15,000 to 20,000 jobs since 2008.  Undoubtedly, even with dropping usage, the airport “saved or created” (hence immeasurable) 3,246 direct and indirect jobs. Righto.

Observations

  • In 2005, the SIA marketing director said strong airport growth reflected the strong local economy.
  • In 2005, the Chamber of Commerce (now named Greater Spokane, Inc) president said “current passenger numbers indicate a strong economy”.
  • In 2005, SIA and GSI said Spokane needed more flights to the SF Bay area to boost our local economy.
  • In 2006, same thing.
  • in 2001, same thing.

How will they spin this? They told us in 2005 and 2006 that the airport was a proxy for Spokane’s economic situation.  In 2011, the airport is still a proxy for our local economy and what it says is the local economy has crashed and burned.

Does anyone care?

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.
Read more of this post

Half of Spokane airline flights flown on turbo props

Hydro Quebec Q400

Image by caribb via Flickr

Update: Since this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route.  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up.

The airport situation, as you will see in the next post coming after this one, is an important barometer for Spokane. Or may be altimeter would be a better metaphor.

In January 2012, there will be a estimated 51 daily departures from Spokane. (Update: 53 now).

  • 23 25 of those flights will be flown on turbo props (propeller) aircraft (1315 on Alaska to Seattle, 5 on Alaska and 5 on Delta to Portland) like the one shown here.
  • 3 will be flown on smaller CRJ700 or 900 jets to Salt Lake City on Delta.

About half of the flights departing Spokane will be flown on propeller planes.

Doesn’t bother me but the flying public prefers to fly on jets. Turbo props are known for their cramped seating and less leg room.

This is from the NY Times – “Twilight of Turboprops? Passengers Go Out of Their Way to Catch Jets”:

An informal survey by Delta recently found that its passengers hate turboprops so much that most are willing to drive two to five hours to avoid flying in them.

5 hours drive to Seattle anyone?

What that means: The airport is in a spin, as in like a plane that has stalled and spun, headed towards the ground, and not as in PR spin.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

Related articles

Trend in Spokane “International” Airport Passenger Levels Versus National Air Passenger Levels

This picture was taken from the Spokane Intern...

Image via Wikipedia

Trend in passenger growth (or loss) at Spokane “International” Airport versus Total National Air Passengers.

In this chart, the national total has been re-scaled to start at the same point as the Spokane total in order to compare the local growth rate (or loss) with the national growth rate in air travel. The data for Spokane come from SpokaneAirports.net and the national data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Ignore the Y-Axis numbers as they are meaningless in the trend comparison due to re-scaling.

The start date of 1996 is because that is the oldest data available at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The end date is 2010, the most recent full year of data.

Interpretation:

  • Compare the starting point of the blue line to the ending point of the blue line. As you can see, national air traffic has increased over this time.
  • Compare the starting point of the red line to the end point of the red line.
  • Passengers at Spokane “International” Airport have gone down over this period while overall national air passenger levels have gone up.
  • Only in the period of about 2005 to 2010, does Spokane perform better. However, so far in 2011, Spokane has gone down while national air passenger counts have gone up by about 2%. 2011 is not shown in the chart.

This chart was added to the previous post to keep the charts on SIA performance (or lack thereof) in a single place.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

Spokane home sales numbers below year 2000 level

 

If this source is correct: Spokane average and median listing prices – Trulia.com.

 

 

Trends in Spokane International Airport Destinations Served, Daily Departures, Passengers

Update: Since this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route.  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up.

See prior post for how the number of flights and destination cities list was determined. There could be slight variations in the numbers used or estimated.

Actual data points for 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2012. In between values pro-rated estimates. First two charts are through January 2012.

Actual data points for  2005, 2011 and 2012. In between values pro-rated estimates.

Data values from from SpokaneAirports.net with 2011 estimated from first half year trend. Data for 2011 is estimated using passenger levels through June of 2011.

Trend in passenger growth (or loss) at Spokane “International” Airport versus Total National Air Passengers.

In this chart, the national total has been re-scaled to start at the same point as the Spokane total in order to compare the local growth rate (or loss) with the national growth rate in air travel. The data for Spokane come from SpokaneAirports.net and the national data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Ignore the Y-Axis numbers as they are meaningless in the trend comparison due to re-scaling.

The start date of 1996 is because that is the oldest data available at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The end date is 2010, the most recent full year of data.

Interpretation: Compare the starting point of the blue line to the ending point of the blue line. As you can see, national air traffic has increased over this time. Compare the starting point of the red line to the end point of the red line. Passenger load at Spokane “International” Airport has gone down over this period.

The publicly funded downtown Central City convention center expansion was going to increase visitors to Spokane. How did that work out?  Update: The convention center expansion did not deliver on its expansion promises. Later this year, charts and data will be provided to show what happened.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

Boise airport loss of flights

Boise chamber downplays effects of Southwest cuts | Boise, Garden City, Mountain Home | Idaho Statesman.

Boise, like Spokane, is losing Southwest flights. Their Chamber of Commerce – equivalent to Spokane’s Greater Spokane, Inc – is spinning this as having  “minimal implications”.

Yet the first comment and others on the article say the changes make Boise a difficult place for business.

Southwest to abandon Seattle-Spokane route and SIA is not honest about it

ALASKA AIR VIEW

Image by shankool007 via Flickr

UpdateSince this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route.  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up..

Southwest to abandon Seattle-Spokane route – Spokesman.com – July 27, 2011.

  1. Claim: Airport spokesperson says there are 20 daily flights on Alaska/Horizon to Seattle.
    Reality: There will be 3 jet flights and 13 turbo prop (propeller planes – just like a rural town) direct to Seattle. That’s 16, not 20. Four additional flights go to Portland where you can change planes, then go to Seattle. Total travel time including TSA groping and so on is longer than just driving. This is easy to check at Alaskaair.com.
  2. Claim: The airport spokesperson says Alaska is not raising fares.
    Reality:  On the Alaska web site, their lowest cost fare option vanishes in January the day before Southwest flights end. This is easy to check.
  3. Claim: The article says an expansion of flights “to Denver in recent years” adds more options.
    Reality: Except there appears to have been a 1/3d drop in flights to Denver this past year. Again, easy to check.
  4. Claim: The airport spokesperson suggests Spokane travelers can fly to “Denver and Phoenix” and then transfer to Seattle.
    Reality: That does not pass the giggle test – that takes far, far longer than just driving to Seattle! We are not idiots.

PR spin or outright lies? You decide.

Many are looking at the air travel situation and realizing we may need to move out of Spokane. It takes a day to get places that I used to get to in 2 to 2 1/2 hour flights, and with lack of options, I may have to stay over an extra night in a hotel.

Filed under “Crime” because the airport is being dishonest. Separately, the SR reporter /editor should have verified or clarified those statements for the reader.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

Spokane “International” Airport non-stop destinations as of January 2012

UpdateSince this was written, Alaska/Horizon announced it will add 2 additional turbo prop flights to the Spokane-Seattle route for a total of 18 flights (15 of which are on propeller planes).  Alaska did not publicly announce their price hike, but in their reservation system, the price went up.

The following airlines serve Spokane “International” Airport:

  • Alaska/Horizon
  • Southwest
  • Delta/Skywest
  • Frontier
  • United/United Express/Skywest
  • US Airways

Some airlines hire contract air carriers to service some of their routes. Alaska hires Horizon Air. Delta and United both hire Skywest, and United also has United Express.

A list of non-stop destination cities is provided by SIA in the form of a map (which will not be accurate for 2012).

Each of the above airlines’ schedule was checked for flight availability departing January 9th and returning on January 13th, 2012. This is similar to what was done a year ago for looking at flights in January of 2011.

The Blue bar is this year. The Red bar is 2012.

Notable changes:

  • Sharp drop in daily flights to Seattle. Alaska now has a monopoly on this popular route.
  • Loss of 1/3d of flights to Denver.
  • Increase in flights to Salt Lake City of about 60%.
  • Drop of 1 flight to Boise (or 1/3d drop since there were only 3 flights)
  • Service discontinued to Sacramento and San Jose.
  • Chicago flights are seasonal only – and not during the winter.
  • UPDATE: As of Nov 2011, no Chicago flights are scheduled in 2012. Chicago flights are now gone.

Total destinations now served non-stop, year round are 10 cities.

  • 2004 – 16 cities
  • 2005 – 15 cities
  • 2011 Jan. – 12 cities
  • 2012 Jan. – 10 cities

The general trend in non-stop destinations has been sharply downward.

4 cities have 4 or more flights per day. Six cities have only 2 options per day. From an air travel convenience stand point, SIA serves only 3 or 4 non-stop destinations.

  • 2005 – 70 daily flights
  • 2011 – 60 daily flights
  • 2012 – 51 daily flights

The general trend in total out going flights has been sharply downward.

The general trend in passenger loads has been flat for 16 years.


Reminder: “SIA said in 2005 that the airport’s passenger count reflects the local economy”. That strongly suggests Spokane’s economy has experienced considerable weakening.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

  • The airports new Master Plan appears to have already imploded.
  • In recent years, nearly one-quarter billion dollars of tax and mandatory passenger fees (aka tax) have been spent making improvements to SIA.
  • “International” is in quotes because there have been no scheduled international flights in many years.
  • Half of all daily flights out of Spokane (just over 50 total) in January 2012, will be on propeller planes.

Read more of this post

Alaska Air eliminates cheapest fares from Spokane to Seattle starting in January

Vancouver International Airport (YVR/CYVR), Ri...

Image via Wikipedia

Probably in response to Southwest Air eliminating Spokane <–> Seattle service as of January 8th, Alaska’s lowest fare increases from $68 to $83 (before fees and taxes) for a one-way flight. Update: Confirming that as of January 9th, Alaska will have a monopoly as the only provider of scheduled airline service between Spokane and Seattle. More on this in the near future.

Before Southwest eliminates Spokane-Seattle service on January 8th, 2012:

After Southwest ends service, Alaska’s lowest fare rises to $83.

The above are screen captures from checking a flight in early January using the Alaska reservation system. Jan 2nd is omitted in the screen capture because, being the day after New Years, there are no lowest priced fares available.

Update:  As of mid-August, Alaska Air has lowered the prices back down to $69 for January 2012 flights to Seattle! That is hopefully great news!

Spokane’s Trolley to Personal Profits

A San Diego U2 trolley in the newest color scheme.

Image via Wikipedia

“there’s no clear evidence trolleys bring growth, but it’s clear they’re expensive.”

via NEWS/COMMENTARY – Spokane considers an electric trolley.

If trolleys really bring growth, shouldn’t we run them in Hillyard and along the vacant buildings along Sprague in Spokane Valley before running them downtown?

Spokane area unemployment worsens in June 2011

The May report was revised downwards to 8.8% from 9.0%. June, however, came in at 9.1%.  The high unemployment level has remained constant in Spokane for 3 years running.

 

The total number of non-farm jobs increased slightly. June and July are typically peak employment months in Spokane. Its down hill from here, until a spurt of seasonable temporary jobs around Christmas. The unemployment rate is based on an estimate of those working and an estimate of those looking for work. As can be seen in the chart, the unemployment rate can and does go down, even as the total number of those working also goes down. Which seems paradoxical but that is due to how the estimates are produced.

Initial unemployment claims rose, although “continuing” claims went down. The latter could have gone down because workers found jobs or because they reached the end of their unemployment benefits and gave up looking for work.

 

Good thing we will be cutting bus service while building a downtown trolley and pouring more concrete out at the under used Spokane (Not) International Airport!

Post Office Considers Closing Spokane Area Postal Offices

Expanded Access Study List – Washington.

Spokane area post offices on the list for potential closure:

  • Dishman post office
  • Hillyard post office
  • Parkwater post office

Southwest Airlines to end all Spokane-Seattle flights

Southwest Airlines to end all Spokane-Seattle flights. They hope to restore service next spring.

That leaves Horizon as the main option, which means Horizon will raise their fares, for sure (updatelooks like they eliminated their cheapest fares).  All services between Spokane and Seattle will be ended as of January 8thIt appears short haul services are dying, which will further isolate Spokane.

More signs of Spokane’s booming economic engine.

2009-2011 passengers counts were already below 1996 levels before this announcement. After this announcement, it only gets worse.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.

Spokane electric bus trolley approved by City Council

According to an email I received, the Spokane City Council approved the STA’s renamed “Central City” electric bus line, running 3 miles from Browne’s Addition to Gonzaga and Avista. I have not independently verified that this is true but the email was sent by an attendee.

Last week’s July 20th STA meeting to publicly discuss the electric bus was abruptly cancelled. The STA then, apparently, held another meeting at the end of the week to approve the electric bus line. KXLY reported this at 5:15 pm on Friday.

The Spokesman-Review hid this development from their readers.  Why? As of Monday, the SR had not reported on the STA approval last Friday and never reported that this would be fast tracked to their City Council for a vote on Monday night. It gives the appearance that the Spokesman-Review withheld important news from their readers in order to keep opponents away from the Council meeting.  The Spokesman-Review is owned by the Cowles dynasty who is said to be the single largest downtown property owner and will be a large beneficiaries of the taxpayer’s money.

The vote on this resolution appears to have been rammed through as quickly and in as much secrecy as they could muster -even spanning the first nice weather weekend of the summer, when people are vacationing.  For a newspaper that wants to be fair and balanced, one might think they would have gone out of their way to avoid an appearance of censoring the news.  Someone there made a decision to make an error of omission and censor important news for Spokane residents.

Update: The Spokesman-Review had no trouble publishing the Council’s vote within hours of the vote.  Opinion: It is apparent that the Spokesman-Review is a propaganda arm in the Last Company Town in America. I previously dismissed such conspiracy talk – but we just watched this with our own eyes. My views on the SR and Spokane have changed as result of this.

For those new to this story, the Spokane Transit Authority is in the midst of cutting back about 20% of its buses for everyone else. Much of Spokane lies in decay. The primary purpose of the downtown choo choo bus is to loot taxpayers to enrich the downtown overlords.

As noted in a post below, Spokane is an economic wreck. The reason is because of continuing and longstanding mal-investment in activities that do not provide a useful return on investment for the many. Spokane’s power elite are ensuring that they will do well while most of the city continues to suffer and decay into the Northwest’s Detroit.

Here’s a snapshot of the July 20th meeting cancellation that appeared on the STA web site – this was probably part of the orchestration to fast track the STA electric bus and ram it through before the public would realize what just took place.

Update:  Was this actually two meetings scheduled both at 5:30 pm, in the same room, but only the second half was canceled? Talk about confusing! Could you tell from the following that the first topic was not canceled?

After watching this subversion of democracy first hand, I now understand why Spokane’s economy is a wreck. Welcome to Spokane!

Spokane Police staffing back to 1999 levels

The report said the number of commissioned officers this year is at 1999 levels, forcing the department to curtail property crime investigations and increasing the risk of exposing officers to stressful situations.

via Verner calls for hiring more police officers – Spokesman.com – May 19, 2011.

They also eliminated the Property Crimes Unit because Spokane government is out of money.

But there is plenty of money to build a silly downtown trolley electric bus!

STA Votes To Approve Electric Trolley

STA Votes To Approve Electric Trolley – News Story – KXLY Spokane.

The initiative next moves at hyper speed to the Spokane City Council on Monday night (it is probably the last item on the agenda as RES 11-55), presumably so opponents will have a hard time mustering opposition speakers.

The STA is in process of cutting bus service by about 20% for the rest of us, but would seek a sales tax for all of the urban areas of Spokane County to pay for much of the 3 mile long, $36 million electric trolley.

Does Spokane need a 3 mile long electric trolley paid for by taxpayers to benefit downtown property owners?

Some facts about Spokane:

Naturally, what this town needs is a “cool factor” electric bus in the downtown core that serves key power brokers and eventually Kendall Yards, where residents pay no property taxes for 12 years. The head of the STA said the “cool factor” is why we need this.
The actual purpose of the trolley is to take money from the taxpayers to benefit downtown power brokers.

What we need instead are initiatives with a positive, long term return on investment. Not concrete pouring initiatives as a short term jobs program that are intended to benefit local power brokers.

I wrote the following in April, but did not previously publish it:

Transit expert praises STA’s, city’s planning – Spokesman.com – April 4, 2011.

So begins the pitch to enrich the downtown core while the rest of city and county remain economic disaster zones. The downtown trolley is a done deal.

There is little evidence that downtown trolleys spawn economic growth but during the past year they are the rage amongst top down, centralized urban planning groups. Name a mid-sized city – Boise, Yakima, Tacoma, Cincinnati, Huntington, VA, Tucson and dozens and dozens more – all of them have built or are proposing downtown trolleys. Why? Because the Federal government will pay for up to 80% for “fixed guideway” transportation. That rules out buses but permits rail, monorail, buses on rubber wheels but with fixed overhead wires (“electric trolley”), and rail lines. This becomes an inflexible permanent transportation solution  a la pouring concrete.

The Spokane downtown trolley does not bring shoppers into downtown. The primary goal is to keep the luxury housing residents of Kendall Yards, the future high density South University District housing residents, and thousands of college students from leaving the downtown core. The goal is to discourage travel to Northtown or Valley Malls and other non-downtown vendors. National and local taxpayers will fund this to create benefits to key downtown stakeholders. This will not create economic growth – it just moves spending from one place to another.

Like the $570 million sunk in the north side freeway, the $110 million waste of energy plant that makes our disposal costs twice that of a landfill (“it may turn trash into air pollution but at least it costs twice as much”),  and other programs, this is another investment with a bad return to the many.

Like so many taxpayer funded investments here, the trolley does not show a good return on investment – and will divert money from projects that might actually improve our local economic situation.

————————

I filed this story under “Crime”.

Spokane County average pay compared to elsewhere

King County workers: 24th-highest paid in U.S. | Puget Sound Business Journal.

Spokane ranks 252nd out of 331 major counties (having 100,000 or more population) in terms of average pay. Which puts Spokane just inside the bottom 25 percent. Yakima ranks 286th.

Spokane, King County and Washington inflation adjusted household median income charts

A reader who also needs to be anonymous, has provided an additional chart comparing Spokane County, King County and the state of Washington household median incomes, adjusted for inflation. The results are similar to those posted last week, but these show Washington and King County falling backwards in income over the period 1992-2009.

The lines to compare in this chart are purple to green to red:

The above charts are for the period 1992-2009, while the chart I provided last week is for the period 1989-2010.

For the period 1992 to 2009, all areas show declines in median income.

Differences between this chart and my Spokane County median income chart may be due to differing reporting periods, different data sources (see “After the break”, below) and CPI adjustments. Between 1989 to 1992, Spokane County after inflation adjusted median income rose by 1.4%. From 2009 to 2010, Spokane County median incomes fell an additional 2.75%, which is not reflected in the above chart ending in 2009.

The main takeaway is that after inflation adjusted median incomes have not done well over two decades. The median income is the value at which half of incomes are less and half are greater. This is not the same as average income.

Data and more commentary for the above chart are after the break.

Read more of this post

Washington State cell phone taxes

A Tax Break for Cellphone Users? – SmartMoney.com.

Tip: If you ditch a contract phone and use a pay as you go plan, you pay only sales tax instead.

Washington is the 2nd to the highest tax rate, at the bottom of the chart.

Could this be a brilliant economic growth strategy?

Very clever: North Dakota Lures College Students – WSJ.com.