On Nov. 8, the Port of Vancouver passed its 2012 budget, which included a tax increase. Apparently our port didn’t get the memo about the general prescription: in a recession, do not raise taxes on working people.
Our port, even in these difficult economic times, is a very prosperous, growing and expanding business enterprise. Its 2012 budget projects $37.1 million earned income from port activities (dockage, facility leases, equipment rental, etc). Not one cent of these earnings gets returned directly to the taxpayers. Our port takes it all for its own purposes. Additionally, it takes the port’s portion of the property taxes, projected as $10 million. There is more. Our port will receive $19 million in government grants in 2012. These will be paid for by the public in taxes. Clearly, the port has its hand deep in our pockets.
All this money funds port operations — and the port’s grand building and development plans. A more fair balance is needed. Taxpayers here paid to develop the port as an economic engine for this community. Now, taxpayers here should be getting some of the benefits. Our port’s earned income should be going to reduce our port taxes.