Port Angeles City Council to consider 1 percent levy increase

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles City Council is expected to approve next week a 1 percent property tax levy increase.

The council passed a resolution Nov. 6 finding a need for the allowed 1 percent levy hike, which would generate an additional $45,475 for the city in 2019.

If approved after a second public hearing Tuesday, total property tax collection is projected to be $4.64 million in 2019, Acting Finance Director Sarina Carrizosa told the council.

“I fully support this,” Council member Cherie Kidd said before the unanimous Nov. 6 vote.

“It does not keep up with our expenses, but it’s very important that we maintain this balance for our bond rating.”

The owner of a $200,000 home will pay about $4 more in property taxes next year if the 1 percent levy increase goes through, Carrizosa said Thursday.

Many cities, counties and junior taxing districts take an annual 1 percent levy increase, the maximum allowed without a vote of the people if 1 percent is less than the rate of inflation.

Carrizosa said the implicit price deflator for 2019 is set at 2.17 percent, meaning the council can increase the property tax levy by no more than 1 percent.

Property tax is the largest source of revenue for the city’s general services.

The total property tax collection for 2019 includes an estimated $36,500 generated from $13.38 million worth of new construction. The $36,500 is separate from the $45,475 in new property tax revenue.

“That is an economic good sign, in my opinion,” Council member Jim Moran said at the Nov. 6 meeting.

“Even through it’s only going to generate an additional $36,000, which is not a lot, the real figure is the $13 million of new construction.

“That’s moving in the right direction as a far as I’m concerned,” Moran added.

“And again, you never like to increase taxes, but embedded in this is that ($13 million) figure, which I find very encouraging.”

A second public hearing on an ordinance raising the property tax levy by 1 percent will be held at the council’s next meeting Tuesday.

The public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. or shortly thereafter in the City Council chambers at City Hall, 321 E. Fourth St.

Also on Tuesday, the council will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2019 budget.

The preliminary budget is balanced at $116.1 million in all funds and $20 million in the general fund for day-to-day operations.

The council is expected to adopt a final budget after a second public hearing Dec. 4.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.

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