Port Of Seattle 2019 Tax Levy Presentation


We really need to do a deep dive on this because this is one the most confusing aspects of how the Port Of Seattle is structured. Technically, the Port is a ‘public corporation’, akin to a utility. However, it is quite different from other utilities in that it has a taxing authority.

The Port does not use any of these taxes to pay for airport operations. In fact, they are prevented from doing so by FAA law, which specifies that all commercial airports must be 100% funded from operations.

It starts to get confusing fast because the Port can (and does) use some of these taxes to pay for mitigations (noise insulation, windows). This creates the urban myth that the Port uses your taxes to pay for airport operations. Not true.

In recent years, the airport has used the lion’s share of these taxes for one thing: to pay down its bond debt. We object to this because the Port Of Seattle has been running in the black (they are not allowed to be called ‘profitable’) for many years and we believe it to be unfair to take public tax money simply to pay down debt when not absolutely necessary.