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PA port approves budget, tax increase

November 14th, 2012 - 7:02am

(Port Angeles) -- Port of Port Angeles commissioners held a public hearing Tuesday morning, then approved the 2013 final budget.

The $17.6 million budget includes a one percent property tax increase. In fiscal years 2009 and 2010, the Port didn't levy the tax, and instead "banked" it for future need.

Port finance director, Karen Goshen says the Port doesn't always have a need for the levy money, but probably will this coming year.

"The property tax levy is used for debt service and capital expenditures," said Goshen. "After the levy is used for debt service, there is only about $275,000 left over that goes toward capital improvement. We continue to have a need to improve our infrastructure in order to maintain and attract new businesses."

About that money that's "banked"...what does that mean?

"What it means is in the future, the port could levy more than one percent in order to get the dollars from taxpayers that were not collected in previous years," said Goshen.

Goshen says the Port doesn't need that money now, but each year the Commissioners review that option as part of their property tax levy consideration.

As for the upcoming budget, Goshen says the Port is not suffering from any major budget issues.

"The budget for 2013 is a healthy budget. Our receipts are expected to cover all of our expenses and we won't have to use any of our reserves," said Goshen.

Next year's spending plan puts nearly three-quarters of the capital budget toward tearing down the former PenPly mill and starting cleanup at the site. The Port is also planning to spend 525-thousand dollars next year as part of a harbor sediment study and potential cleanup.

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