Public Authority District
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Explore the potential of a public authority district as a tool to support economic development and enhance Yakima’s competitiveness to attract and retain businesses.
A public authority district can be an effective resource for supporting other prioritized Strategic Initiatives of this plan, such as operation of an incubator and/or business development at the Mill Site, and Airport. A variety of benefits can be structured with the mechanism of a public authority district, such as property ownership and development, incentives, investment in infrastructure and funding of dedicated staff for specific development projects.
Some public authority districts collect tax to accomplish their mission while others do not. The most famous example of a tax collecting public authority district is the Port of Seattle which operates the SEATAC airport, Maritime Ports, and associated industrial parks in Seattle. The most famous non‐tax collecting public authority development is the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority which runs the world‐famous Pike Place Market in Seattle.
Examples of successful Public Authority Districts around the state that relate to the goals of the City of Yakima’s plan include the Wine Incubators at the Port of Walla Walla, the Twisp and Ellensburg Development Authorities business incubators, The Port of Grandview’s Certified Shovel Ready Sites and success in recruiting the Wal‐Mart Distribution Center, and the Grays Harbor Public Development Authority that developed the Satsop Business Park from a vacated site into a 600‐acre industrial and technology center.
Tactics- Public Authority District
- Invite Core Working Group to kick‐off meeting to review tactics and document specific resources of district benefits
- Research the process to establish a public authority district
- Engage Washington Public Ports Association and Public Development Authorities from across the state for guidance
- Investigate Washington State laws as to better understand what is possible and what is not allowed with such districts to determine if such a district can accomplish local goals
- With all facts, conduct evaluation of pros and cons for establishment of public authority district
- If it is determined that a Public Authority District will enable the City to achieve economic growth that it would not be able to achieve any other way then,
- Determine the boundaries, scope and specific mission of the Public Authority District
- Organize campaign around the benefits of the Public Authority District ‐ how that translates into a better community for all residents
- Conduct baseline research for support
- Plan for campaign
- Investigate hiring a professional firm that has successfully helped with the creation of other Public Authority Districts in Washington State
- With community approval, establish public authority district
Core Working Group – Public Authority District
|Lead||Business community (represented by YCDA, GYCC, HCC of Yakima)|
|Team||City of Yakima – City Manager, City Attorney, Economic Development Department, Airport
Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Yakima
Rural Community Development Resources
Yakima County Development Association
Yakima Valley Tourism
|Resources||Successful public development authorities
Successful port districts in Washington State
Washington Public Ports Association