By The Columbian, October 28, 2014
The Port of Vancouver is not proposing to increase its local property tax as part of its 2015 budget, CEO Todd Coleman told the port’s three-member commission at a budget work session Monday.
By law, the port can raise its property tax levy by 1 percent each year. Coleman recommended the port once again hold the line on the levy, which generates about $10 million for debt service payments and other port costs. Because of an overall increase in property values within the port’s district, the property tax assessment would drop from this year’s 40 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value to about 36 cents in 2015.
Coleman has proposed a $56.8 million budget for 2015, up from this year’s $34.1 million. Much of that increase would come from a new port program of leasing of rail cars used in shipping goods between Vancouver and North Dakota. Under the program, the Port of Vancouver is wooing customers to ship agricultural products and other commodities from the Midwest to the Port of Vancouver on rail cars that otherwise would return empty after shipping a sand product from Asia to North Dakota for use in the oil fracking process.
The commission will consider adopting a preliminary budget at its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the administrative office, 3103 N.W. Lower River Road. The meeting will be televised live on CVTV (Cable Channel 21) and streamed live on www.cvtv.org. The commission is expected to vote on the final 2015 budget at its Nov. 18 meeting following a public hearing. The port’s 111-square-mile district encompasses about 300,000 property taxpayers.