What are Fudge Point's Tidelands Worth?
$47,500/acre or $250/acre?
(click to enlarge)
County assessors are currently updating property values on Harstine Island. Using 2010 transactions for similar parcels they determine what the assessed value will be for the next four years, beginning in 2012. From that value tax revenues are generated to support the various services provided in Mason County. Some of those services help ensure the waters within Mason County remain clean, benefiting everyone who enjoys their use, from shellfish farmers to swimmers.
Tidelands may be used for many purposes. Some choose to use them for pedestrian easements. Some choose to grow shellfish on them. Some choose to leave them in their natural state.
In the case of Fudge Point, a choice has been made to grow geoduck on these tidelands.
December 30, 2010 Tideland Sale
$475,000 for ~10 Acres
(click to enlarge)
Seen above are tidelands just South of Wilson Point which were sold by Manke Timber to Taylor in December of 2010. Manke sold only the tidelands, retaining a right for the adjacent upland owners to access the tidelands for recreational use. Taylor is allowed to continue growing geoduck they planted. As Taylor appears to own the geoduck, Manke only sold the tidelands, retaining the right for the upland users to use them recreationally.
What are Fudge Point's tidelands worth? What are the other tidelands growing geoduck throughout Mason County worth? Property tax revenues are what supports Mason County. The choice to convert tidelands to a geoduck farm is that of the tideland owner. So doing dramatically increases the value of those tidelands. Tax revenues resulting from that increase in value will help support Mason County for the benefit of everyone.
Thurston County appraises tidelands used for shellfish farming at a far higher value than Mason County does, helping to pay for their valuable services. What will Mason County do?