Port’s Budget Includes Property Tax Increase

By Noah Haglund, November 18, 2013, Everett Herald

Port commissioners have scheduled a hearing Tuesday morning to discuss their 2014 proposed budget, which includes a tax increase.

They’re likely to vote on the plan the following week.

The proposed levy rate for next year is 35 cents per $1,000 in assessed value, compared to 29 cents in 2013.

That hike would bump up the port’s share of the tax bill by roughly $16 over last year for a house with the taxing district’s average assessed value.

A house with an assessed value of $193,000 — the district average for 2014 — would pay an estimated $67.86 in port taxes.

While higher than in 2013, the proposed 2014 tax is similar to what property owners paid in port taxes for 2012 and lower than 2009 or 2010.

Unlike county and city governments, the port only uses property taxes for capital projects and environmental cleanup.

“None of it goes to pay for salaries or benefits or operations,” port spokeswoman Lisa Lefeber said.

Put another way, property taxes only account for about $4.4 million of a budget of $40.1 million — about 11 percent of the total. Most of the rest comes from operating revenues, cash reserves, equipment leasing and grants.

The port is a special-purpose taxing district that includes Everett and about half of Mukilteo. It’s mission is to promote economic development through activities such as running shipping terminals and the largest public marina on the West Coast. It owns 3,000 acres of waterfront property.

The port employs 88 people, but says it supports 35,000 jobs in the region.

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