Category Archives: Port of Bremerton

Port of Manchester IDD: Take the Poll

Should the Port of Manchester form an industrial development district to buy land for a future community center? Read the post, then take the poll on the homepage of this blog.

Port of Manchester to Revisit IDD Tax Monday
When: 6 p.m.
Where: Manchester Library

Revenue would be used for land acquisition and debt service.
By Chris Henry
Port of Manchester Commissioners will vote Monday on whether to form an industrial development district, a taxing district affecting property owners within port boundaries. Revenue from the IDD would fund the purchase of a downtown Manchester property that could some day be developed as a community center.
The IDD, which does not require a public vote, would allow the port to move quickly on the purchase while property prices remain low, said Alan Fletcher, contract administrator for the port.
Strong resistance to the new taxing district at the port’s Aug. 10 meeting led the board to defer the vote and leave the record open for a month. Some who testified supported the IDD, but opponents loudly protested the tax increase and called for at least an advisory vote on the matter.
Under the IDD the port could collect up to 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in addition to the current levy (just more than 14 cents per $1,000 for 2009) for up to six years. Port commissioners estimate they would need to collect 20 to 25 cents per $1,000 to purchase the land.
Fletcher calculates the proposed tax would cost the owner of a $250,000 home about $57.50 per year. The IDD tax is temporary and would expire at the end of the six years.
The proposed community center on the site eyed for purchase is part of the port’s parks and recreation plan, developed with community input. The center would be developed in the future in partnership with civic groups and would likely include an expanded library with space for community activities.
A portion of the IDD revenue would go to retire debt related to expanded parking at the port’s marina.
Port commissioners Steve Pedersen and Daniel Fallstrom, who were elected in 2008, expressed disapproval during their campaigns for the Port of Bremerton’s IDD, formed in 2006 to pay for the new Bremerton Marina. That IDD, which was not well publicized, became a political albatross for the Port of Bremerton.
Fallstrom in 2008 said Port of Bremerton residents should have had a say about the new tax that was set at the full amount allowed by law and in many cases more than doubled individual property owners’ payments to the port. Asked why he did not support an advisory vote for the Port of Manchester’s IDD, Fallstrom said, “It’s too late to do that this year, and cost for a special election would be $15,000, which the port can’t afford.”
Fallstrom added that Manchester’s IDD would not be as costly to property owners.
Residents who favor the community center have told the board they want to secure land for future generations rather than seeing it lost to development, Fallstrom said.
“What we’re trying to do is we have a great opportunity here to get things for the future generations at a great price,” he said.
Fallstrom would not say how he will vote on Monday.
“This is one of these hard decisions elected officials need to make. We’ll just wait ’til Monday and see what the three of us decide,” he said.
Pedersen said the board made extra efforts to seek residents’ opinions on the port’s future in part because of Bremerton’s debacle. He was a proponent of the recently formed port advisory committee whose input led the board to float the IDD. Responses from residents during and after the public hearing have given him pause.
“It’s really made me step back and take a good hard look at the authority and power to tax people, and I take that very seriously,” said Pedersen. “Just because an IDD is a tool, it doesn’t mean you take it out of the tool box and use it.”
Long-time commissioner Jim Strode, who is running unopposed in the upcoming November election, said at the meeting in August, “If I go down in flames for any decision we have to make, I’m OK with that.”

Here’s a map of the Port of Manchester:

SKIA Annexation Part One

Over at the Caucus blog we’ve got a little ditty about SKIA anexation. You might not be surprised to hear that I’m seeing slightly different characterizations from Port Orchard and Bremerton. The official word from the board, for now, is the annexation of the northern property was accepted as submitted. A written decision will be issued later this month.

Port Orchard Issues Analysis of SKIA Sewer Plans

Following up on the story I wrote about the meeting between City of Port Orchard and Kitsap County officials, James Weaver, the city’s director of development, sent me its SKIA Infrastructure Assessment and Technical Memorandum. The 28-page document compares Bremerton’s analysis of its ability to provide infrastructure, including sewer service, to SKIA with Port Orchard’s ability to provide sewer. Bottom line, Port Orchard figures it can get the job done for 20 percent less than Bremerton. The report will be posted within a day or two on the city’s Web site.

Port Orchard Wants to Take $#!& From SKIA

It really does come down to sewers.

Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola, in his South Kitsap Industrial Area Multi-Jurisdictional Implementation Proposal, issued March 27, spoke in a general way of shared costs and revenues from the proposed industrial park. But the city’s primary claim to its piece of the SKIA pie is as a provider of waste water treatment, he told Kitsap County Commissioners Jan Angel and Steve Bauer at a summit with city council members Monday at City Hall. A 2003 memorandum of understanding between the city and the Port of Bremerton gives Port Orchard the legal backing to support its stance, Coppola said. At stake is substantial revenue from sewer service provided to SKIA, money the city will need as it is impacted by increased traffic from the area, Coppola said.

Coppola asked Angel, representing South KItsap, for an official statement of support for the city’s position. But Angel declined, saying, “I’m just going to put it on the table, the Port of Bremerton, part of the City of Bremerton and Port Orchard are all in my district. That’s why the county has stepped back and not taken a position, because we didn’t really feel it was our place to do so.”
Coppola said the city is prepared to dig in and defend its $21.5 million investment in Karcher Creek’s waste water treatment plant, made in large part with SKIA in mind.
“We’ve invested $4.5 million from our treasury and the balance in bonds, and we’re not walking away from that,” said Coppola.

Read the complete story later at Read Bremerton Beat reporter Andy Binion’s post on public perception of conflict between Bremerton and Port Orchard here.

Other issues of mutual interest discussed at the summit included:

McCormick Woods annexation: Angel said the county supports the annexation, even though it would mean reduced revenue for the county. Discussion centered on how the county and city would share responsibilities and revenues (in the form of impact fees) from the area.

Under an inter-local agreement between the county and Kitsap cities, transfer of revenue would be phased in over three years, with 75 percent going to the county in the first year of annexation, 50 percent the  next and 25 percent the next. Councilman John Clauson suggested responsibility for maintenance of roads to be assumed by the city could be similarly phased in.

Angel said the board of commissioners needs to discuss the annexation and make its recommendation.

Council members requested that the board put McWoods high on its list of priorities. “I would just comment maybe the sooner the better,” said Carolyn Powers. “We have a lot of people out at McCormick Woods chomping at the bit, and we can’t do it on our own.”

Bethel Corridor: The county is taking a survey to see if taxpayers would support any of several measures to fund major improvements to the 1.7-mile stretch of road that is South Kitsap’s major commercial thoroughfare. If not, the project that has been in the works since 2000 will be kaput.

“If people aren’t willing to pay anything, we don’t have a project,” Angel said. “A lot of people believe there is money to do this project. There is not.”

Coppola said that a number of Bethel property owners have approached the city about annexation. The city is likely to eventually annex the whole Bethel corridor.

Givens Center and Veteran’s Memorial Park: The county has offered the Givens Center to the City of Port Orchard, not as a gift. No suggested sale price has been mentioned. The city is analyzing the potential benefits and liabilities of the proposal, said James Weaver, the city’s director of planning and development. Jan Angel said she began talking with Copploa about the proposal when he took office in January.”I was hoping you were going to offer a price tonight,” said Angel, mostly in jest.

“I thought you wanted to give it to us,” said Coppola, also joking.

Angel said it would also be logical for the city to assume responsibility for Veteran’s Memorial Park, which is in city limits. The county understands that the city is working to create a parks department and that they would not be likely to take over the park until that had happened.

Enough Turkey; Let’s Talk Taxes

As part of the Kitsap Sun’s ongoing coverage of Kitsap County’s budget, on Sunday we will run a package on property taxes. In it, you’ll hear about a couple who successfully challenged the county on their property tax assessment, and we’ll present a Q&A with graphics to explain how property taxes in this county work.

I know, it’s just what you want to read about on what is billed as one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. But with the recent state Supreme Court challenge to I-747, it’s a good time to get caught up on the basics.

Despite the court’s finding that I-747 is unconstitutional, all local jurisdictions have chosen for 2008 to stay within the 1 percent per year limit to property tax increases imposed by the now powerless initiative. And as a reminder (because if I don’t do it, Bob Meadows will):

a. The 1 percent limit is based on the previous year’s aggregate tax, exclusive of new construction, which is factored in separately. So the overall tax increase has each year been more than 1 percent. (See info on the City of Port Orchard below for an example.)
b. The limit is figured on aggregate taxes (what we all pay as a group), not on individual accounts. Many other variables factor into your individual tax payment, so don’t be surprised that you haven’t seen a precise 1 percent increase each year.

Here’s a recap of our recent I-747 coverage, including two jurisdictions within South Kitsap, the Port of Bremerton and City of Port Orchard:

Special Session Set on Property Taxes

Port 2008 Property Tax Stays within 747 Limits

Tax Lids to Stay on Tight

Governments Sticking with 1 Percent Tax Increase

Here’s a breakout on Port Orchard’s decision, which may have gotten lost in the sauce:
Port Orchard passed its $1.59 million property tax levy ordinance Tuesday with the 1 percent lid in place, though new construction boosted the percentage lift to 6.2 percent. “I did not feel that anybody was tempted to raise it,” said city treasurer Kris Tompkins.

Members of the city’s finance committee briefly discussed the implications of the court’s ruling.

Tompkins said it’s also unlikely cities or counties would take full advantage of banked capacity from revenues it didn’t get over the previous five years. “I can’t see that anyone would ever do that to their constituents,” Tompkins said.

Appleton Approves of Court Decisions

Frank Talk on Taxes

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 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.

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