Industrial Revenue Bonds

Financing Options

Tax-exempt financing issued through the Port of Bellingham’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is available to qualifying companies. This financing mechanism offers manufacturing and processing companies below-market interest rates for eligible uses, such as purchasing land/equipment, constructing buildings, and/or upgrading existing facilities.


The following are some of the many benefits of industrial revenue bonds:

  • Bond amounts range from $1 million to $10 million.
  • Fixed or variable rate features and long-term repayment are available.
  • Interest rates can be up to two percentage points below market rates, due to the bond's tax-exempt status. 
  • Projects can be located anywhere in Whatcom County.

Bond Security

The IDC serves as a conduit agency for non-recourse bonds. Security to the bond purchase is provided by the borrower, working through a bank or other lending institution.

Professional Assistance

The Port retains bond counsel to help determine if the proposed project meets requirements and to assist with application details. These services are provided at no charge to prospective borrowers.


The applicant is responsible for paying a $1,000 application fee to the IDC. The IDC is not involved in administering a bond issue after funds go out. Fees associated with financing are generally paid from bond proceeds, up to a limit of two percent of the total bond amount. Once the bonds are issued, the applicant will pay an annual administrative fee of 1/10 of one percent of the outstanding balance. This account is used toward the port's economic development activities.

For More Information

Please contact Economic Development Project Manager John Michener at 360-676-2500.