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King County seizes Harbor Air plane

"Harbor Air's troubles are continuing.Phil Sanders, the property tax supervisor for King County, said county revenue officers seized one of Harbor Air's planes after it landed last Thursday at Boeing Field.Harbor Air has been the only air commuter service that regularly serves Whidbey Island travelers from Oak Harbor Municipal Airport, and connecting with SeaTac International Airport. Sanders said the seizure comes after the Gig Harbor-based company failed to pay more than $70,000 in year 2000 personal property taxes in King, Island, Whatcom and San Juan counties. Of that amount, $17,000 is owed to Island County.The airline has 30 days to pay the back taxes or the plane will go to auction. Before the seizure, the company operated six Cessna Grand Caravan planes, each with a nine-person capacity. Personal property taxes are levied on equipment, including airplanes.Harbor Air flies passengers between the Seattle area and the San Juans, with stops in Oak Harbor. It provides Whidbey Island's main air-link to the mainland.Harbor Air officials did not return phone calls on Tuesday.Trouble for the airline started last month when the Port of Seattle kicked the company out of SeaTac airport after Harbor Air failed to make gate lease payments. The company owes the port about $100,000.Since then, Harbor Air has been flying to Boeing Field and shuttling customers to Sea-Tac by van.The Islands' Sounder newspaper in Friday Harbor also reported that the Internal Revenue Service has filed eight liens against Harbor Air over the past two years, totaling nearly a $1 million.Harbor Air has routes between Port Angeles, Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, Oak Harbor and Boeing Field in Everett. You can reach staff reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611. "

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