Net benefit to fund big projects makes Port expansion an opportunity


To the Editor:
Voters will be deciding on an expansion of the Port of Everett boundaries in the August election. This presents a unique opportunity to leverage the Port’s proven ability to create jobs, fund infrastructure projects and facilitate environmental cleanup to benefit the 85% of county residents not currently represented by the Everett Port district.
The Port supports 40,000 local jobs at its marina and international seaport. Each job that the Port creates directly supports four more jobs in adjacent industries. Every dollar the Port invests yields an additional $7.50 of local economic output with both private and public partners — a great bargain for taxpayers!
Funds collected in the expanded district MUST ONLY be used in the Port’s capital projects, public access, and environmental cleanups — reinvesting directly into our communities. Taxpayer dollars are not used to fund Port operating costs, including staff salaries.
Of many districts, the port is the lowest taxing entity in Snohomish County. The Port collects about $100/year on a $500K property value, and all of it invests back to our communities with a nearly eight-fold return in making our communities better.
When the ballot measure passes, the Port will open public processes to align with community priorities of the larger District. We can dream of new projects that will benefit our region. Think of the Port’s dollars helping the City of Snohomish develop our City Shop site into a park at the Snohomish River. It’s possible that dreams can come true if we work together.

Karen Guzak

Editor’s note: Guzak chairs the for-Proposition 1 group Port Expansion for a Vibrant Future, and is a sitting Snohomish City Council member.