Charles Creso, a candidate for the Tacoma Port Commission, is known for his attention to detail.
He emailed me today about the recently announced implosion of the port’s NYK terminal project. Raised some good questions:
In response to your article titled: Don’t just blame the recession for the port’s NYK bust, I offer the following observations for your consideration regarding the $146 million spent acquiring real estate for this project.
First, after speaking with a representative of the assessor’s office this morning, I ascertain that the negative impact to local taxing authorities (Tacoma‘s General Fund, Parks, emergency services, etc.) that results from moving these properties from private ownership to government ownership is roughly $1.3 million dollars per year.
By at least one forecast in the Tribune, postulating that this project may remain halted for some time and therefore not be complete until 2020, the loss of tax revenue from the time of purchase to project completion is roughly $17 million dollars. Not a small loss for local taxing authorities.
Second, there is a strong argument that in the haste to compile (acquire) targeted port properties and avoid, if possible, condemnation proceedings, Port Commissioners approved purchase prices far in excess of true, defendable market value.
The overage paid, by some arguments, may be as high, on average, as 20%. This may not seem like much, but 20% too much based on purchase prices totaling $146 million is approximately $24 million in overage (146 divided by 1.2, then calculating the difference). These mistakes add up fast.
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