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Seattle port raises 2009 property tax 11%

Seattle port raises 2009 property tax 11%

The Port of Seattle board voted Tuesday to increase 2009 local property taxes collected to support the port by $8 million, an 11 percent increase over the 2008 collections.

   King County residents, which will pay $76 million to support the port this year, will now face a port levy of $0.219 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The $8 million increase was $1 million below the legal maximum port officials could raise the levy in a given year.

   The move comes as part of the port's annual budget approval process. The 2009 budget projects the port's 2009 net income will dip $1.3 million to $209.8 million, before depreciation and $58.7 million, after depreciation.

   The port also collects revenue from property leases, wharfage fees and docking charges. The majority of the levy funds collected typically go toward paying down port-incurred debt. A smaller percentage goes to port programs and about one-third of the levy funds are typically rolled over. Close to $23 million was rolled over from 2007 to 2008 and the port expects to roll over $37 million from this year to 2009.

   Additional details of the port's 2009 budget reveal that the port expects to see a 23 percent net assets slide to $111.5 million from $145.1 million in 2008.

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