The Port of Vancouver will head into 2013 with a slimmed-down spending plan but with expectations it will rope in more revenue to plow into infrastructure projects and jobs, thanks to a decision by its Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.The port’s elected three-member Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a 2013 budget of $64.01 million, down roughly 20 percent, or about $16 million, from this year’s projected budget of $80.18 million. The board approved the budget without taking advantage of the port’s allowable 1 percent increase in its property tax levy.The $16 million reduction comes entirely from the port’s capital projects plan, which is focused on building out its West Vancouver Freight Access project. The freight rail project aims to bolster the regional economy by generating thousands of jobs over several years.The capital spending cut will delay only certain pieces of the long-planned $275 million freight rail project, which remains well under construction, on time and on budget, according to port officials.The decision to put off some of the freight rail project reflects the port’s cautious approach to next year’s budget as it anticipates either flat or reduced revenue from a variety of sources, including grants and property taxes, and shipping and cargo-handling fees.
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