The Port of Columbia County Budget Committee has unanimously approved recommendations for the proposed $16.6 million 2020-2021 fiscal year budget.
At $16.6 million, the port’s proposed budget for 2020-2021 is a decrease of $1.6 million from the 2019-2020 budget. Port officials said the decrease is attributed to the potential reduction in revenues due to the current economic conditions and a smaller capital outlay.
The budget committee’s recommendation includes reducing the port’s property tax levy to zero for residents and industry within the port district in 2020.
“Port Commissioners have discussed reducing the port’s property tax levy for several years, and staff recommended that this was a great time for both the port and the community to let that money stay with residents and businesses during these difficult times,” Port of Columbia County executive director Doug Hayes said. “The Commissioners and staff will assess the tax levy during the budget process again next year to determine whether or not we continue to do this in the future.”
“This is the right time to really step up and help the people of the port district by giving them a break on their taxes,” Port Commissioner Larry Ericksen said. “The port has proven over the years that it can be fiscally sustainable, which allows us the ability to do this. I think it’s a great idea and it’s great for the community.”
Additional highlights in the proposed 2020-2021 budget include:
- Beginning balance is forecast to be $6 million, which is an increase of $850,000 from this time last year.
- There are 42 commercial and industrial tenants spread throughout the port’s facilities and over 100 individual tenants each at the Scappoose Bay Marine Park and Scappoose Industrial Airpark. Combined budgeted revenues for all tenant leases, permits, and licenses are more than $4.1 million.
- Port Westward is the port’s most profitable property site accounting for $1.4 million and 34% of the port’s total revenue.
- Investment of $8.9 million in capital projects at selected port sites for new buildings, property improvements and infrastructure.
- The port has spent over $32.2 million in capital improvements over the past eight fiscal years throughout the port district.
The Port’s Budget Committee consists of the Port Commissioners and an equal number of citizens who oversee and approve the port’s annual budget.
The Port Commission members are scheduled to adopt the proposed 2020-2021 budget June 10.
A copy of the proposed budget is available on the port’s website at www.portofcolumbiacounty.org.For more information, the Port of Columbia County may be reached at 503-397-2888.