Base economy, impact is an Island County issue


There has been much discussed about the impact of the Navy on Whidbey Island. Up till now the only analysis has been to add up all the military and contractor salaries and contracts by the Navy and call it “economic impact.” That is only half the story.

The Navy also creates costs passed on to all Island County taxpayers. This is an issue for the entire county, not just Oak Harbor. The total bill is over $100 million and rising as revealed in a new report by Michael Shuman, economist and attorney.

All citizens of Island County should pay close attention since the Navy’s activities are not just a “North End” problem. Money is being extracted from all our communities and is not being accounted for.

Mr. Shuman will present the results of his findings at the United Methodist Church in Langley on Wednesday, March 29 from 7-9 p.m. This meeting is open to the public, and is the first time a balanced look at the economic impact of the Navy on Whidbey Island has been attempted.

There will also be a public meeting in Coupeville at the Pacific Rim Institute on Tuesday, March 28 from 7-9 p.m. Every taxpayer of Island County needs to be aware of these costs and what we can do about them.

The full report is available at

Thank you,