In 1911, the Washington State Port District Act authorized voters to create public port districts that could acquire, construct, and operate waterways, docks, wharves, and other harbor improvements; rail and water transfer and terminal facilities; and ferry systems.
One such port district, the Port of Seattle, is subsidized by taxpayers at the rate of $0.1358 per $1,000 of assessed value. With the median home price in King County hovering around $650,000, this translates to almost $90 per year per household.
To be sure, the Port of Seattle still delivers much of what is laid out in its charter, now sharing the load with the Port of Tacoma under the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
The Port of Seattle recently received approval for the Harbor Navigation Improvement Project, intended to deepen the East and West Waterways to 57 feet below mean lower low water. If authorization and funding for construction come through, the project will improve navigation in Seattle’s East and West Waterways …