Port of Skagit Funding Sources
The Port of Skagit has three primary sources of income: revenue from leasing and moorage operations, property taxes and grants. In addition, the Port can borrow money by issuing general obligation bonds and revenue bonds.
The Port of Skagit’s three distinct enterprises all contribute revenue:
Moorage fees and rental fees from leased facilities and land at La Conner Marina;
Rental fees from leased facilities and land at Skagit Regional Airport;
Rental fees from leased facilities and land at Bayview Business Park.
Your Port Budget for 2015
The Port of Skagit is a municipal corporation created by voter approval in 1964 under the provision of the Revised Code of Washington R.C.W. Title 53. The Port of Skagit Board of Commissioners adopts an operating budget and a capital budget on an annual basis. The budget process takes place during the fall months, and members of the public are encouraged to participate.
The 2015 operating budget, approved on Nov. 18, 2014, foresees revenues of $5.26 million and expenses at $4.817 million. The 2015 capital budget is $6.595 million, which includes facility upgrades at Bayview Business Park, South Basin dredging at the La Conner Marina, the Runway 11-19 Runway Safety Area Grading project at Skagit Regional Airport plus several smaller projects. Funding for these projects comes from a combination of state and federal grants, local taxes and reserves.
A portion of the Port of Skagit’s total revenue comes from an annual property tax levy. The use of these funds is limited to four categories of projects: environmental, community, safety and infrastructure. Tax income is not used to support port operations. Historically, the tax has remained well below the statutory maximum, and Port officials continue to be committed to keeping taxes low. For 2015, the Port plans to collect $2.05 million in property taxes, which computes to an estimated millage rate of about 23 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a home in the port district valued at $200,000 will pay about $46 in property tax to the port this year.
Keeping an Eye on Port Operations
The State Auditor’s Office performs a financial statement audit and an accountability audit annually on the Port of Skagit. Brian Sonntag, state auditor, noted in a letter following completion of the 2008 report that the Port of Skagit has long record of successful audits: “This accomplishment reflects the dedication of the Board and the staff to strong oversight of operations, good internal controls and accurate financial reporting,” Sonntag’s letter stated. “We appreciate your proactive approach and your constructive responses to audit issues. In all matters we have brought to your attention, you have worked with us to arrive at practical solutions.”
Again for 2012 the Auditor's Office included no findings in its report. It was the port’s eighteenth consecutive year of clean audits.