Posted on December 5, 2022
The Port of Seattle has approved the largest capital plan in its history at $5.3 billion over the next five years, alongside a property tax increase of $78.42 annually per average homeowner.
The Center Square previously reported on the proposed property tax levy and how it would be a 2% increase from $78.7 million in 2021 to $82.7 million in 2023.
Despite the increase, the Seattle Port accounts for less than 1.2% of total property taxes collected in King County, according to data on the port’s 2022 Maritime Capital Projects.
Levy funds will go toward environmental sustainability efforts, various local community programs and to service debt and bond obligations, according to the port.
The funds will go towards the planning and execution of the Port of Seattle’s $5.3 billion five-year capital plan.
The port also approved its operating budget for 2023, with operating expenses budgeted at $573.4 million. The spending plan is an increase of about 15%, or $74.3 million, from last year’s budget.
The operating revenue the port accounted for in its newly passed budget is significantly higher, as it is budgeted at $953.7 million in 2023. That is roughly a 24% increase, or $186.8 million, from 2022.
The port cites a rebound in travel to explain the increased funding. According to the port, passenger volume at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport rose to nearly 90% of 2019 levels, while cruise ship passenger volume exceeded historic highs by 6%.
The airport will see $4.6 billion in capital funds go toward improvements at the terminal and concourses through the port’s SEA Gateway program, C Concourse Expansion and Baggage Modernization Project throughout the five-year capital spending plan.
“The airport’s $4.6 billion in capital investments make travel more predictable and efficient while meeting safety, regulatory, accessibility and sustainability standards,” Port of Seattle Commissioner Hamdi Mohamed said in a statement.
In 2023, the port will distribute $725.8 million in capital spending, then an increase to $1.2 billion in 2024, $1.3 billion in 2025, $1 billion in 2026 and $957 million in 2027 at the end of the five-year plan.
Next year’s capital spending will make up 39% of the port’s budget, according to the port. The budget also dedicates $17.7 million for its environmental initiatives, as well as $11.9 million for customer experience initiatives in 2023.