Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Seattle Port Approves 2016 Budget

By Mark Edward Nero

On Nov. 24, the Port of Seattle Commission approved its 2016 budget, which includes an estimated $583.4 million in operating revenues and $335.4 million in operating expenses. The budgeted net operating income before depreciation is $248.0 million.

Also, the total capital budget for 2016 is $408.4 million and the five-year capital improvement program is $2.23 billion, which the port said in a statement reflects its “continuing commitment to investing in the development, expansion, and renewal of port facilities that support regional economic activity.”

“This is not a status-quo budget,” Port CEO Ted Fick explained. “This is a growth-oriented budget so we can spur the regional economy, expand opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses, increase family-wage jobs, help people acquire skills to move up the career ladder, and protect our environment.”

The 2016 budget includes funding major improvements to the Pier 66 cruise terminal. Under a public-private partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, the cost to renovate the interior of the terminal to accommodate more passengers and improve mobility along Alaskan Way is being shared.

In 2015, the port saw a nine percent increase in cruise passengers this year over 2014, making it a record year with 898,032 passengers sailing via Seattle. Estimates indicate that 2016 will see another 6.8 percent increase.

Each homeported cruise ship that calls at one of the port’s two cruise terminals generates about $2.5 million to the local economy.

The port’s 2016 budget also assumes a levy amount of $72 million, a reduction of $1 million from 2015; the port had held the levy amount constant the past four years adjusting the levy rate downward as property values increased. A typical King County single-family homeowner is expected to pay $82 per year to fund the port in 2016.

An overview of the budget can be seen at http://www.portseattle.org/About/Financial-Info/Budget/Pages/default.aspx