Friday, November 11, 2011

Port of Vancouver USA Budget Approved

The Port of Vancouver USA has approved a 2012 budget that includes a one percent property tax increase to help pay for an ongoing freight rail project.

Under the new budget, which was approved on a 2-1 vote Nov. 8, the port’s property tax collection would rise by about $99,000 in 2012 to roughly $10 million.

Starting next year, the owner of a property with an assessed value of $250,000 would pay about $2 more in property taxes than in 2011. There are about 300,000 property taxpayers within the port’s 111-square-mile district.

The additional money would go toward construction of the $150 million West Vancouver Freight Access project, a 27-mile rail expansion that the port hopes to finish by 2017. The rail project, on which construction began in 2007, is designed to improve the ability to move freight through the port and regional BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad mainlines.

Port commissioners Nancy Baker and Brian Wolfe voted in favor of the budget, while commissioner Jerry Oliver voted against it, saying that the economic climate wasn’t right to impose a new tax.