Friday, April 29, 2016

Cheap Oil Causes Port of Olympia Revenue Drop

By Mark Edward Nero

Operating revenue at the Port of Olympia, which was projected to be $14.8 million, was a mere $9.7 million, in 2015 due in part to a drop in global oil prices, the port’s finance director said April 25.

In a presentation given to the Port of Olympia Commission during its most recent business, meeting, finance director Jeff Smith said that the port’s marine terminal, which had been projected to bring in $8.3 million in revenue during 2015, only generated $3.3 million.

The return on revenue at the port was a negative 23 percent last year, due in part to a dramatic decline in global oil prices.

The port collected about $5 million in property taxes last year, resulting in net income of $510,000 for Olympia, $2.4 million less than planned. The port showed an operating income loss of $2.2 million.

Due to the revenue slowdown, the port decided to defer $13.2 million in capital investments, which left Olympia with a capital investment balance of $12.5 million, about $8.5 million of which was spent last year, according to Smith.