Port of Bremerton

This probably isn’t new to anyone who has opened their pretty pink envelope from the county. But the sticker shock of a large tax increase for those living within the Port of Bremerton’s taxing authority is still sinking in, according to Kitsap County Treasurer Barbara Stephenson. Her phone has been ringing off the hook since property tax statements were mailed out last month
The port established an Industrial Development District last year to help pay for an expansion to the Bremerton Marina. The marina work will cost $22.9 million, with $4.5 million coming from the federal government.
Getting there took creation of the IDD in public meetings late last year. And that happened in meetings most taxpayers didn’t know about until they received their tax bills.
The district encompasses large areas of South Kitsap not exactly within spitting distance of Port Orchard’s Waterfront Marina. The new tax will add $90 per year on a home valued at $200,000.
Steve Gardner wrote about reaction to the tax increase in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun. You can read his article (and check out the district boundaries) at kitsapsun.com. You can weigh in on the issue at the Bremerton Beat blog.
Perhaps more people will start attending the port commissioners’ meetings, held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Bremerton National Airport Terminal Building Conference Room, 8850 SW State Hwy 3, Port Orchard, Washington.

Commission meetings held the second Tuesday are convened at 4:00 p.m.
Commission meetings held the fourth Tuesday are convened at 10:00 a.m.

Study Sessions: Study sessions are held after the second meeting of the month (fourth Tuesday) is recessed. The purpose of the study session is to better inform the citizens of the Port district and other interested parties of Port activities, and to provide a platform for the Port Commissioners and Port management staff to discuss Port issues. Study sessions are open to the public.

Special Meetings: The Port Commission may call special meetings. 24-hour notice is necessary to conduct a special meeting.

The agenda for Commission regular meetings is available to the public online on the Friday afternoon prior to the Tuesday meeting. After approval, Commission meeting minutes are also available online.

One thought on “Port of Bremerton

  1. Chris, when you suggest that more people might go to the meetings and that they can see the agenda online, I think you miss the fact that the port commissioners avoided giving the public any hint that would have made them think there was a reason to go to their meetings last year.

    Pasted below is the comment I posted yesterday on the “letters to the editor” blog in response to this letter. (Perhaps Jim will find it and post it soon.)

    It is obvious that the port could have used their press releases to let us all know, and could have used plain English in their agenda so that anyone looking at it would know the meeting’s topics would be important. But they didn’t.

    Previewing your Comment

    The action by the commissioners of the Port of Bremerton — increasing the port’s total property tax levy to two and a half times what it was in 2006 — has been discussed in this blog.

    This is not a tax increase which requires approval by the voters for the first 6 years. If the port intends to extend it beyond 6 years and enough signatures are gathered in opposition to such an extension to force a vote, then there could be a vote.

    The lack of notice to the public is what bothers me. Sure, as today’s article indicates, the port probably did do the absolute least it was legally required to do in order to notify us. But, if you read this previous comment and this one, too, you will get an idea of how little was done to let us know what they intended to do.

    It’s too late now to try to persuade the commissioners, and that’s almost certainly why they tried their best not to tip anyone off to the coming tax increase.

    It’s something to remember when the time comes to elect port commissioners. I hope there is at least one opponent to the incumbents, since I would vote for a worthless, egg-sucking yellow dog before I would vote to re-elect any of the incumbents.

    It’s also something to note for the future. If the port commissioners intend to collect this tax for longer than 6 years, I’m sure they will publish the minimally sufficient legally required notice — and not one thing more — if we don’t have some different people as port commissioners by then.
    Posted by: Bob Meadows | March 4, 2007 11:38 AM

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