The Port of Olympia commission will vote Monday on its 2017 budget, which projects $11.8 million in revenue for next year, slightly more than the $10.6 million the port expects at the end of 2016.
Still, the year-end revenue figures are lower than the more than $13 million generated in 2014. That’s when the fracking sand import business was in full swing. A worldwide drop in oil prices slowed that import business in 2015 and revenue fell to $9.6 million. The port has slowly grown beyond that figure in 2016 and expects that to continue next year, according to its draft budget.
The port operates five business units, the largest of which is the marine terminal. The port projects about $4.4 million in revenue from the terminal in 2017, about $300,000 higher than in 2016. The log export business has been steady for the port, but it remains to be seen what other cargoes the port can attract. The port continues to import fracking sand, also known as ceramic proppants, and could continue to handle organic corn and dairy cows. The dairy cows were shipped to Vietnam toward the end of 2015.
Although the port shows modest growth for the Olympia Regional Airport, Swantown Marina and the marine terminal, it is more bullish on the stormwater treatment plant and its real estate division, according to the draft budget. The port charges its marine terminal tenants for the use of the stormwater plant and expects revenue to rise to $743,000 in 2017 from $604,000 in 2016. Revenue generated by the port’s properties also is expected to grow to $1.3 million next year from $749,000.
The reason for the properties increase wasn’t immediately clear, although it could be the result of property the port intends to buy in Lacey, or revenue the port expects from a proposed Walker John development near East Bay.
The port projects $11.8 million in revenue for 2017, but after operating expenses, depreciation and nonoperating expenses, such as bond interest expense, the port shows a loss for the year of $2.6 million. That’s down from a projected loss of $3.4 million in 2016.
But the port, which levies a property tax, expects to raise $5.16 million from it. Add that to the port’s bottom line and the port shows net income for 2017 of $1.5 million.
The port’s property tax levy is set to fall to 17 cents next year from 18 cents in 2016, thanks to an increase in countywide property values. For someone who owns a $230,000 house, they will pay the port about $40 in property taxes next year.
If you go: The port commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 626 Columbia St. NW, Suite 1-B, Olympia.