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Forum Jan. 24 on port's proposed expansion

POULSBO — The Poulsbo Port District proposes expanding its boundaries to include the Poulsbo city limits and neighborhoods on both sides of Liberty Bay, including Lemolo and up to the Keyport Port District boundaries.

The measure is on the Feb. 11 ballot, and will be voted on by residents of the proposed annexation area. The North Kitsap Herald will present a public forum on the issue Jan. 24, 6-7:30 p.m., in the Poulsbo City Hall council chambers.

Proponents say the annexation will give the port district more revenue for port improvements, economic development and protection of Liberty Bay, and give more people a voice in decision-making that directly or indirectly affects them.

Property owners in the annexed areas would pay a property tax levy of 30 cents for every $1,000 of assessed valuation — about $75 a year for a $275,000 house. Between 2006-12, the port received between $224,000 and $265,000 in tax revenue each year. The expansion would increase the district’s tax revenue by approximately $190,000

The forum will follow a format commonly used by the League of Women Voters. There will be a moderator and a timekeeper. A proponent and opponent of the measure will each give three-minute opening statements. Each will get two minutes to answer each question from the audience. Each will provide three-minute closing statements.

Voters created the Port of Poulsbo in 1951 to operate marine- and recreation-related facilities and help bring economic development — investment and jobs — to the community.

But as the city boundaries grew, the port district boundaries did not. As a result, only half of the city’s commercial and residential property owners pay a property tax to support a port district that benefits the entire city.

 

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