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November 12, 2008

The Shamelessness of the Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle needs an intervention -- toute suite -- because, left to its own devices, it will only sink further into its debilitating disease of Taxoholism:

The Port of Seattle Commission voted Tuesday to increase the taxes it collects from King County property owners to $84 million in 2009, an 11 percent increase from the $76 million it collected in 2008.

The port's 2009 tax levy total, which is based on a half-cent reduction in its rate to 21.9 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, is $1 million less than state law's $85 million cap on the port's 2009 levy. The levy would cost the owner of a $400,000 home $87.60 a year.


You know how it is with addicts. They live in a state of constant denial. They blame everyone else for their problems. They lie and steal to feed their addiction.

They spout insane logic in defense of their actions:

Commissioner Pat Davis said voters' passage of parks levies showed their support for investment now.

Dear Pat,

Your recall can't come soon enough.


I keep wondering -- after all the ethical lapses and outright corruptions we've seen at the Port in recent years -- where the realists are, the ones who will grab these addicts by the collar and say, "Your binges are destroying the community. You keep stealing from Peter to pay Paul. It's a cycle of abuse. Get into rehab now. We are cutting off your allowance."

Maybe it's time to start devising a plan that uses the Port of Tacoma primarily for cargo and the Port of Seattle primarily for tourism. Too provocative? Well, it's pretty clear the POS is unable to balance its books after collecting the fees from all those container ships sitting on Elliot Bay. And yeah, I know, there's that airport in which both of our cities have a stake. But where are the practical, fiscally responsible ideas coming from? Is there even a vision for the POS where it actually becomes -- God forbid -- self-supporting? Show of hands? Anyone?

In the meantime, the Port Commisioners will continue to tax, tax, tax the citizens in order to pay off the Port's debts and provide cover for the Port's outmoded way of doing business.  

Absolutely shameless.


Posted by shoephone on November 12, 2008 at 12:52 PM in Policy, The Politics of Business | Permalink


I keep wondering ... where the realists are

Me, too. They don't seem to be much in evidence in local government. Maybe there's a reason why only the most insane need apply. With all the traffic problems here, the best they could do is a half-assed light rail system. They can't just bite the bullet and say that there's going to have to be a real traffic corridor at the western edge of downtown Seattle, but they'll spend millions on a frickin' trolley that goes nowhere.

I'm sure there's a good explanation, but I have yet to encounter it.

Posted by: Cujo359 | Nov 12, 2008 7:12:19 PM

Now Cujo, we both know there is no good explanation for it at all. Business as usual for process-heavy, policy-bankrupt Seattle governments.

I'm just waiting until the dunderheads who want to tear down the viaduct and replace it with... nothing... add even more hours to our traffic nightmares.

Clearly, you and I both need to get more coaching in political correctness.

Posted by: shoephone | Nov 13, 2008 11:21:17 PM

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