As long as the Port of Olympia requires taxpayer subsidies, it is not a successful business model. Despite claims that it creates direct, indirect, and "induced" jobs, those have not generated sufficient additional taxable wage income in Thurston County to take the port off the taxpayers' subsidy.
If there were a good business model for a port here, a savvy business would have sprung up and would be making a profit. I doubt, if the port operation was put up for sale to private business interests, that it would find a taker. The land possessed by the port, and private ventures on it that can show a profit, represent the real value there. In a real sense, the port is diverting tax monies away from more pressing activities of government.
Government shows time and again that it is not good at managing a business. It has no business trying to run a business operation like a port that continues to soak the taxpayers.
Olympia and Thurston County planners should be considering alternate business development plans for the operations currently handled by the Port of Olympia. That approach might increase the tax base and either redu ce the tax bite, or more fully fund higher priority government services. The port is not a government “service”.