PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners and Port Angeles City Council members were expected today to agree to share tax revenues from new businesses east of the city.
County commissioners, however, rushed toward caution instead.
They balked at details of the accord — the last part of a three-legged pact between the county and the city — when they reviewed it at their work session Monday. They now expect to reconsider it next week.
Under the already established parts of the agreement, the city has forsworn annexing east of its limits until 2015.
In return, the county will fund a $5 million extension of city sewers eastward to U.S. Highway 101 and North Masters Road. The intersection is where Wal-Mart hopes to build a Supercenter next year.
Split sales tax revenue
The revenue-sharing plan essentially would split between the county and city the sales taxes from new or expanded businesses in the sector, formally known as the Eastern Urban Growth Area.
But commissioners delayed approving the agreement partly because it was negotiated by former County Administrator Dan Engelbertson, who retired June 29 and was replaced by Jim Jones.
“There were a lot of understandings and semi-promises as for how this would go,” Jones told commissioners.
“I didn’t have the ability to say, ‘Time out.”‘
Commissioners in particular wanted to re-examine the provision that sets monthly sewer fees outside the city at 150 percent of fees within its borders.
The strategy is designed to discourage businesses from moving from the city into the unincorporated county.The revenue-sharing agreement also calls for the county to give to the city half the sales tax revenues of new or expanded businesses in the area until the city annexes them, letting the city cash in on some of the area’s growth.