KGMI News Reporting
By Karen Taylor
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Port of Bellingham is proposing a new tax hike on shuttle and taxi companies to help pay for airport upgrades and improvements, but shuttle operators are not happy about it.
Ernie Henken owns an off-site airport parking company Wiki Wiki Park ‘n Shuttle.
He says the proposed 5-percent tariff on gross monthly sales is ridiculous.
Henken says the tariff will force him to delay improvements to his business.
He also says some smaller operators have told him that the tax will put them out of business.
Bellingham Airport Aviation Director Daniel Zenk says the Port needs more money to help pay for improvement projects to keep up with the steady increase of flyers and shuttle operators.
The Port of Bellingham has motioned for the new tariff schedule to be approved so it can go into effect starting September 1.
Right now, hotel van, taxi cab and off-site parking companies pay about $26,000 annually in License to Operate fees.
The new tariff fee structure is expected to bring in about $100,000 of additional revenue for the Port.