Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Port Angeles Raising Moorage Fees,
Not Property Taxes

On a split vote, the Port of Port Angeles Commission on Oct. 28 decided not to enact a one percent annual property tax increase as allowed under state law, but did decide to increase moorage fees by 1.6 percent after not raising them last year.

The property tax vote was 2-1 against, with outgoing Commissioner Paul McHugh, who leaves the commission at year’s end, casting the lone vote for the hike. The vote for the moorage fee increase was unanimous.

The moorage rate increases are to be imposed on owners of boats ranging in length from 20 feet to 60 feet and longer at the Port Angeles Boat Haven and John Wayne Marina, and will be combined with a 1.6 percent hike based on the Consumer Price Index.

Additionally, linear footage increases will go into place for the Boat Haven, but not the Wayne Marina. The Boat Haven’s new rate will be 85 percent of the average of the 20 marinas surveyed, including the Boat Haven and marinas at Elliott Bay and Bremerton.

The vote against the property tax increase means taxpayers will continue paying the 2013 rate: 19 cents for each $1,000 of property valuation, or $38 a year on a $200,000 home. The tax increase, which would have raised about $14,000 in 2014, was also not imposed by the board in 2009, 2010 and 2012, with economic factors being cited each time as a large part of the reason.