In a March 2013 editorial, The Olympian praised the Port of Olympia for its “recent financial success” noting that the port as a whole — the marine terminal, the airport, lease revenues, marina and boat-yard operations — all show increased usage over previous years. The Olympian then stated that the port made a $1.7 million profit in 2012. In November 2012, The Olympian reported that the three port commissioners — George Barner, Jeff Davis and Bill McGregor — voted to increase taxes the port collects from Thurston county property owners by $100,000 for a total tax intake of $4.8 million yearly. How can it be that the port is successful if it collects a tax subsidy of $4.8 million a year? How can it be that the port made a profit of $1.7 million if it is collecting a tax subsidy of $4.8 million?
When I resigned as a port commissioner in 1995 the tax subsidy was $1.8 million a year. That was 18 years ago. Since then the port has collected upward of $50 million from the taxpayers. This is a disgraceful use of taxpayer money. The Olympian should get its facts straight and the commissioners should be lowering the tax levy not increasing it. It’s time for citizens to insist that the port become self-sufficient.