Port Tax Still Fresh

At Tuesday morning’s Eggs & Issues debate over car tabs, only a few people were asking questions, so in a rare occurrence I got three in.

The last one was whether the Port of Bremerton’s industrial development district tax, used to pay for construction of the Bremerton Marina, was still casting a pall over requests for funding. Over the past few months we’ve heard little about the IDD tax, a noteworthy development given that the last few years any request for money by any taxing district carried with complaints that were laced with references to the port.

The most recent mention of an IDD tax I could find in a quick search of our archives, however, referred to the Port of Manchester and its consideration of the idea. I thought that perhaps Port commissioner Cheryl Kincer’s decision to not run for re-election had been the final calming measure on the IDD.

Perhaps not.

According to the voices on the car tabs issue, the IDD is certainly not forgotten. From the car tab debate story:

The state Legislature gave local municipalities the right to impose a $20 fee increase without an election. Six cities in Washington have chosen to enact the fee without consulting voters, but (Bremerton City Councilman Nick) Wofford said the Port of Bremerton’s decision to raise property taxes in 2007 — which paid for marina construction downtown and will last for six years — played a role in the Bremerton City Council’s reluctance to go that route.

“I think it’s very fresh on people’s minds,” Wofford said of the tax that was enacted without public approval.

Mike Shepherd, arguing against the car tab increase, also said the IDD tax probably has had an impact, but said much of that impact is less about the tax than about how it was imposed.

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