Port of Oakland adopts 2011-12 budget

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The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners last week adopted a 2011-2012 fiscal year operating budget of $296.6 million, a 1.8 percent increase over anticipated fiscal year 2011 actuals and a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal 2011 budget, which was focused on stabilizing the port after the Great Recession.

Port officials describe the fiscal year 2012 budget as a forward-looking, pragmatic and job-preserving budget that is sustainable over the long term. In the short term, it will facilitate the second stage of the port’s 5-year strategic plan, focused on marketing, relationship-building and business growth.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that the coming year will bring continued modest economic recovery,” says Omar Benjamin, port executive director. “We therefore need to move strategically from stabilizing the port, to marketing and growing the port’s business. That’s why this year we are going to enhance the port’s export program, capitalizing on our position as the only major West Coast port that exports more than we import, continue bringing new air service to Oakland International, move forward on the transformation of the former Oakland Army Base into a world-class intermodal trade and logistics center, and continue promoting the development and utilization of our waterfront assets at Jack London Square.”

Officials say the strategic investments made by the port’s FY12 budget, both in operations and capital, are essential to supporting the port’s continued positive economic impact in Oakland and the region, which amounts to nearly $10 billion annually, and includes the following jobs and tax revenue benefits:
• The port receives no local tax revenue, and from its operations and those of its tenants contributes more than $462 million in taxes to the City of Oakland, regional cities and counties, and the State of California; and
• Through its operations and policies, and the business activities of its tenants and customers, the port supports more than 73,000 jobs across the region and is connected to about 827,000 jobs across the nation.