Port wants tax hike to pay for farm

With its reserve fund empty and 10 years left before the Greenbank Farm bond is paid off, the Port of Coupeville is asking Central Whidbey Island residents for a tax increase.

The commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution asking taxpayers for a 6- cent-per-$1,000-of-assessed-property-value-increase. The proposal will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

If approved, the tax increase will provide the $100,100 payment the port pays for the Greenbank Farm and the $49,950 the port pays for to the Greenbank Farm Management Group to operate the farm. The levy increase would begin in 2009 and go through 2017.

The current Coupeville port levy stands at 15 cents per $1,000 and the maximum levy rate the port could have is 45 cents.

Recently appointed Commissioner Marshal Bronson started his position, noting the lack of money in the port’s coffers.

“When I first looked at the treasury, there was nothing but an echo. This should have been done five or six years ago,” Bronson said.

Because of the lack of funding, officials had to delay several maintenance projects at the Greenbank Farm and they want to save money to help pay for projects identified in the soon-to-be complete Greenbank Farm Master Site Plan.

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