Oregon rethinks urban renewal areas

House Bill 3056 gives taxing districts a chance to voice support or opposition for urban renewal areas and the money going to them.

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House Bill 3056, approved in 2009, gives special taxing districts a chance to voice support or opposition for new urban renewal areas.

In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, various Oregon districts lost $182 million to urban renewal projects.

Urban renewal has become a go-to tool for cities and some counties in Oregon, with 65 urban renewal agencies and 110 urban renewal plans across the state. The idea behind the tool is to increase the future property tax base of an area by freezing those taxes for a period of time and funneling the tax revenues above the frozen rate into specific projects in the target area.

“For years there’s been an ongoing battle between urban renewal agencies and overlapping taxing districts,” said Mark Landauer, a lobbyist for the Special Districts Association of Oregon, the committee that represents Oregon’s various taxing districts. “But it’s been an unfair fight because the urban renewal agency could freeze the taxes without consulting the taxing districts.”

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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