We just keep paying taxes | Letter

Jul 23, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

The Port of Everett owns the former Tank Farm and will be disposing of it to Washington State Ferries, Sound Transit and Mukilteo. At a recent City Council work session the mayor and her staff said the port wants to keep the northern 2 acres that contain Edgewater Park, which is in Everett city limits ["Half of city's Tank Farm land would be temporary," The Beacon, front page, July 23].

Mukilteo is to receive a beachfront parcel between the NOAA building and the new ferry terminal, plus other property, mostly new streets that will support those transportation facilities. Mukilteo has to pay the port for the value of the land it will receive because “the port cannot give away assets.”

The city administration has been “negotiating” with the port, who is asking us to provide police, fire, EMS services and some maintenance for Edgewater Park, forever, as payment for the land we would receive. That may be sufficient payment to the port to cover the value.

Edgewater is a Port of Everett park that is used regionally, not a Mukilteo park. It is the port’s responsibility to maintain it. Since Edgewater is in Everett, it is the responsibility of Everett to provide public safety like it does for all Everett property. Having Mukilteo provide public safety is not paying the port, it is reducing the city of Everett’s cost of doing so.

About half of Mukilteo is in the Port of Everett’s taxing district. Port tax on Mukilteo property will be $630,000 in 2014 – about that amount every year. Mukilteo gets token benefit from the port’s small fishing dock next to the current ferry slip. Most of the tax is spent on property development and other port activities in Everett.

If the port cannot give Mukilteo the land it was promised, the port should keep that land and dedicate it permanently for an additional beachfront park. There is no need for Mukilteo to own the land.

The port has the legal authority to maintain this small pristine beach area instead of Mukilteo doing it. That would provide us with some benefit from all the port taxes we pay.

The port also proposes to transfer land that will contain streets to serve Edgewater Park, the new ferry terminal and other transportation facilities. That land should not be accepted by Mukilteo. Those streets will serve regional transportation operations that are not Mukilteo’s responsibility.

It’s time for our administration and council to look out for Mukilteo. Do not agree to spend our taxes to maintain more facilities that are effectively regional, like Lighthouse Park, Rosehill Community Center and Japanese Gulch.

Charlie Pancerzewski,

Mukilteo

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