In an effort to help fund infrastructure improvements at its $46.85 million Terminal 4 Expansion and Redevelopment Project, the Port of Grays Harbor (Wash.) Commission has designated Grays Harbor County’s first Tax Increment Area (TIA).
The designation, announced May 31, is a major step toward Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which could help pay for public projects critical for economic development by setting aside a portion of property taxes paid by development in the TIA for up to 25 years, according to the port.
This also allows the port to leverage investments already being made by AGP, the port’s largest customer, which is a second soymeal export facility at Terminal 4B valued at $123 million.
Meanwhile, the port is investing in 50,000 feet of rail and related improvements in the Marine Terminal Complex. The port also plans to replace Terminal 4 fendering and stormwater systems and reuse a 50-acre former pontoon construction site as a laydown area for future break bulk at Terminal 4A.
“TIF is a great new tool for ports, cities, and counties to help growth, pay for growth,” port Finance Director Mike Folkers said. “Right now, there is no property tax revenue being generated within the TIA, and there wouldn’t be without the port making the necessary public infrastructure investments for AGP to make their improvements that will ultimately result in jobs, additional investment and increased cargo exports for our entire community.”
“Local taxing authorities, including the City of Aberdeen,” he continued, “will still realize the sales tax generated on the construction of the port’s projects and AGP’s new facility.”