Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Everett Port Passes 2011 Budget, Plans Layoffs and No Changes to Tax Levy

The three-member governing board for the Port of Everett, Washington last week approved a $24 million budget that calls for staff layoffs next year and keeps in place a property tax levy on port district residents.

Port officials cited a decline in the port's property tax revenue stream, decreases in business lease revenues and declines in marina space rent as justification for the 2011 cutbacks. Under the budget the port will not replace three employees scheduled to be lost through attrition next year, will layoff three additional employees and will require that the port's 25 exempt employees take six unpaid days off in 2011.

The tax levy, as approved by the port board, will remain at 28.3 cents for each $1,000 in assessed property value for port district property owners. The owner of a $300,000 home would pay slightly less than $85 in port taxes in 2011.

The port board agreed to keep the levy in place, as opposed to increasing it, citing the current rate as adequate to continue paying down $38.5 million in outstanding port debt.

Due to the overall drop in property values, estimated at a total of $2 billion over the past two years in the Everett area, the port expects its property tax levy to generate about $3.7 million in 2011--roughly 11 percent less than in 2010.