Snohomish council may give official support to Port of Everett measure

SNOHOMISH — The City Council might sign off on a resolution formally supporting the Port of Everett’s August ballot measure to expand its taxing district to nearly all-county.

Its decision is scheduled for the council’s July 16 meeting at 6 p.m. in the Carnegie Building, 105 Cedar Ave.

Councilwoman Karen Guzak put the idea forward to council last week.

The port is pitching that it can partner with more communities to invest port tax income into projects if its boundary is bigger.

“I think (the city of) Snohomish would benefit greatly” if the measure passes, Guzak said at the meeting.

The measure asks voters who live outside the port’s boundaries, such as the broader Snohomish area, to annex themselves into the port’s tax district.

The port’s tax rate today is 0.18 per $1,000 in assessed value. An example owner of a $500,000 property in the port’s district paid a little over $90 to the port this year for property taxes.

The port’s future tax rate will be known in the fall after the assessor’s office produces certain tax estimates which then the port commission sets a levy rate, port spokeswoman Kate Anderson said. Timing-wise, the rate would be known after the ballot measure is voted on.

The port’s maximum tax rate is 0.45 per $1,000 in assessed value.

The port can only legally spend tax income on projects within its boundary. These are for ecological projects, for recreational public access or for projects that generally improve cargo movement.

The port does not have a prepared list of what projects it would put money toward if voters approve, Anderson said. 

If voters say yes, they will figure it out by holding multiple public meetings asking for comments. They’d develop a list of “which projects have the most cross-community economic, environmental and public access benefits,” Anderson said.

Guzak said in an interview there are opportunities.

The port could clean the city public works shop site to help the city turn it into a park in coming years. 

The port could help attract a boat to visit by building a floating dock. The boat could have weddings or be a space for events.

The port also could, she hopes, help with the city’s economic development and help get another hotel into town. 

Guzak was part of a past effort years ago that explored creating either a Snohomish Port, or to encourage the Port of Everett to expand its boundaries to include Snohomish.

Council meetings

The Snohomish City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month starting at 6 p.m. in the Carnegie Building, 105 Cedar Ave.