Vancouver port commissioners unanimously approved a tax levy increase Tuesday, raising property taxes by 1.526 percent.
“I just want to observe that this is a 1 percent increase,” said Jack Burkman, the board of commissioners’ vice president. He added that the Implicit Price Deflator, which he called a conservative measure of inflation, is predicted to be 3.86 percent in 2022 and the most recent Consumer Price Index over the last 12 months was 6.2 percent.
“This increase is in alignment with the state law, but it does not keep up with our purchasing power,” Burkman said. “So even though this is an increase in the property tax receipts, this is not going to keep us whole with respect to purchasing power. And that is reflected in our budget.
“We will have to do things a little bit differently, which is planned already,” the commissioner added.
No one from the public requested to testify at the hearing.
An initiative was passed in 2001 that limited the maximum increase in property taxes to the Implicit Price Deflator or 1 percent, whichever was less. Washington law also allows for taxing districts to collect less than the legal maximum and to raise taxes closer to the maximum later. The port used this authority, which is called banked capacity, to increase the levy. Combined, the two increases total 1.526 percent.
The property tax increase will bring in an additional $186,746 for the port. It will also be levied on new construction, improvements to property, newly constructed wind turbines, increases in the value of state assessed property, annexations and refunds made, which will bring in another $224,701.
The increase will now be certified by the port auditor and collected by the Clark County Assessor’s Office.
At the meeting, the commissioners also approved the port’s 2022 budget, selected a public works contract bid to replace the dock fender system at the port’s Berth 17 and heard a presentation on Vancouver’s tourism industry from Visit Vancouver USA.