Port of Coupeville commissioners passed an industrial development tax levy during a meeting Nov. 10.
The tax will be implemented at a rate of 45 cents per $1,000 assessed property value. The measure will generate about $1.25 million in its first year, according to revenue estimates made earlier this year. Because the commissioners created an Industrial Development District last month to fund capital projects, voter approval wasn’t required to adopt the new tax.
That isn’t to say, however, that residents of the port district aren’t in favor of the levy; public comments from past meetings regarding the creation of the district and subsequent implementation of the levy were overwhelmingly positive. Commissioner David Day said in an interview that port district residents are eager to see the port’s historic properties well cared for.
“This levy is created to work on these projects,” he said. “This money has to be spent on designated projects. It’s not for administration. It’s not for hiring a bunch of people. It’s for getting work done at the wharf and at the farm.”
Port commissioners also voted to update the Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements to delineate the capital projects toward which they will apply funds generated by the industrial development levy. Projects on the docket include replacing and repairing piles and other parts of the wharf substructure, seismic stabilization of the wharf and replacing some barn roofs at Greenbank Farm, among others.
Creation of the Industrial Development District also gives commissioners the flexibility to change the levy rate in future years based on the needs of the port district, though the annual rate cannot exceed 45 cents per $1,000. In total, the port can levy up to $2.70 per $1,000 assessed value during the life of the district.
Day said the levy rate will always be calculated based on a property’s assessed value during the initial year of the levy.