Port to hold public hearing about proposed tax levy

The Port of Coupeville is seeking community input about creating an industrial development district.

The Port of Coupeville is looking for community input as it considers implementing a port-specific tax for capital improvement and economic development.

The port will be holding a public hearing at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 about creating an industrial development district, or IDD, to levy funds for projects at its historic properties, including the Coupeville Wharf and Greenbank Farm.

The hearing will begin with a presentation about the industrial development district and the associated proposed tax levy, following which members of the public will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback.

“I’m hoping people do show up and express any concerns we haven’t thought of,” said port Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos.

The port will also be taking public comment for 30 days following the hearing, to allow anyone who can’t attend Wednesday’s meeting the chance to comment. Michalopoulos said port commissioners will likely vote to approve or reject the IDD during their meeting Nov. 10.

Plans to create an IDD have been in the works for months. If approved, the IDD could raise millions of dollars for capital improvements to port properties, which Michalopoulos said are vital for economic development and growth in central Whidbey.

Michalopoulos said all community feedback he has heard about the IDD so far has been overwhelmingly positive. He and port commissioners are hopeful the public hearing will generate high community turnout so they can continue to garner opinions from community members.

Interested residents can attend the public hearing via Zoom by visiting portoc.org/commission-meetings/meeting-agendas and clicking on the meeting link or following the posted instructions to join by phone. The port’s regular meeting commences at 6 p.m., with the public hearing beginning at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22.

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