Our mission is to protect the habitat of Puget Sound tidelands from the underregulated expansion of new and intensive shellfish aquaculture methods. These methods were never anticipated when the Shoreline Management Act was passed. They are transforming the natural tideland ecosystems in Puget Sound and are resulting in a fractured shoreline habitat. In South Puget Sound much of this has been done with few if any meaningful shoreline permits and with limited public input. It is exactly what the Shoreline Management Act was intended to prevent.

Get involved and contact your elected officials to let them you do not support aquaculture's industrial transformation of Puget Sound's tidelands.

Governor Inslee:
Legislative and Congressional contacts:

Additional information
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/protectourshore
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProtectOurShoreline

Monday, June 16, 2014

Burley Lagoon Taxes: Pierce County Council Meeting June 17 at 6:30, Key Peninsula Civic Center

Date: June 17, 6:30
Location: Key Peninsula Civic Center, Whitmore Room
Address: 17010 South Vaughn Road KPN Vaughn, WA

Friends of Burley Lagoon (FOBL) has announced that the Pierce County Council will hold a regional meeting at the Key Peninsula Civic Center. Items listed on the agenda include conversion of 3 parcels to forest land. FOBL notes citizens will then be allowed 3 minutes to discuss topics. Taxes on tidelands converted to commercial shellfish farming is appropriate to bring up as is the conversion of Burley Lagoon to something it never was - a commercial geoduck farm.

Tideland parcels and taxes paid
(click to enlarge)

Representation without taxation - why are geoduck farm tidelands not assessed any higher?
One of the topics which citizens may wish to bring up to the Council is why tidelands, whose owners have decided the "current best use" is as a geoduck farm, are not assessed at their true value. In the case of forest land, it takes up to 40 years before any income is generated, and even then, forest land owners are lucky to net $15,000/acre. Contrast that with geoduck farms whose "crop" matures in 5 years and nets a grower over $1,000,000/acre. If leased, the owner may receive up to $150,000/acre. The Council would do well to explain why the taxes are, in effect, non-existent. And why shellfish growers have so much control over the updating of the Shoreline Master Program.

"Leased tidelands will help with your property tax." (Not said: You'd just better hope the county assessors don't figure out what the true value of those converted tidelands really are. We won't help you with that tax increase. Nor with the increase in income taxes you'll have to pay when you declare your 10% - 15% received as miscellaneous income.)
A favorite point made by geoduck farmers seeking out tidelands to lease is the revenues will help pay upland owner's property taxes. What the geoduck farmers are reluctant to talk about is who pays for the increase in assessed value if a county assessor decides to assess tidelands which have been converted to a commercial geoduck farms at their true value . When these leased tidelands are used by geoduck growers as collateral for loans, the banks are certainly not using the county's assessed value. Also not mentioned is how the IRS looks at the income generated from leasing.

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