Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Port of Longview Approves Landmark Budget

The Port of Longview on Dec. 2 approved a 2012 operating budget of $32.3 million, which includes a projection of over $30 million in revenue for the first time in the port’s history.

The budget calls for $16.6 million in operations spending next year, a four percent rise from 2011; as well as $2.3 million in capital expenses, including a substantial increase in longshore labor, which the port anticipates will be needed with the launch of grain exports next year.

The port expects to finish 2012 with $4.5 million in net income, which it plans to put in reserves help pay for capital projects like buying new terminal equipment.

About $1.57 million in property taxes is expected to be collected next year; just last month the port commission voted to cut the property tax levy to 22 cents per $100,000 valuation, a decrease from the current 39 cents per $1,000. For a home valued at $150,000, the owner will pay $33 annually in property taxes to the port, as opposed to $59 in property taxes in 2011.

The budget also includes three percent raises for the port’s top three salary-earning employees, executive director Ken O’Hallaren, facilities director Norm Krehbiel, and terminal operations director Doug Averett, who are all slated to make between $110,000 and $135,000 in 2012.