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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 13, 2005 3:50 PM. The previous post in this blog was Buck-a-Hit Day tomorrow. The next post in this blog is Off the hook. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Sky high

I see that the "negotiations" about who's going to pay the latest (but surely not the last) cost overrun on the OHSU Medical Group aerial tram [rim shot] are going hot and heavy. At last report, somebody needed to come up with $5 million quick. So far it looks like $3.5 mil more is going to come out of property taxes. Great.

Plus, we're still "negotiating" more goodies for fat cat docs and Cali transplants. You normal folks better go light on the stocking stuffers this year.

Comments (11)

Should I wait for others to start the back and forth on the nature of these "property taxes" or should I just start it myself?

Nah, I'll wait and see who knows what, who claims what, who doesn't know anything, and/or who conflates different issues.

I have to reserve my comments until Bill McDonald's column on the Arial tram project runs in this Thursday's edition.

Wes Wagner
NW Meridian

the nature of these "property taxes"

I think everyone knows what a property tax is. If you'd like to spend the 200 words typically used to put the City Hall spin on that concept when property tax dollars are being spent to benefit only a small special interest, feel free.

It just isn't the property taxes that these bonds are usually paid from. Its the fact that the bonds are siphoning directly from schools.

It would be one thing if it was the total general fund. But when you claim to put schools forward as your #1 priority it acutally should be. Just about every Dem in Portland who runs for the legislature including Burdick do this.

Instead they allow Portland's URA's to become the number one priority for these tax revenues as some of the highest value property pays for infrastructure monuments built to politicians and institutions.

Actually, schools don't directly lose b/c of urban renewal. Equalization (i.e., diversion of income taxes) ensures that any property tax dollars p---ed away on (e.g.) urban renewal get replaced by income tax revenues from the state.

On to something on-topic. The last funding plan that has been publicly distributed is from 10/2004. In the 1+ year that has passed, we've seen hit with an aerial tram [... rim shot ...] bill that's 3x higher than projected and a payment for for Boondoggle Park that's 50% more than projected.

I have a feeling that the greenway is going to get a little smaller and we can forget about any improved road access ...

But, don't worry. I'm sure Tram Adams and Segway Williams will find a "solution" that won't hurt taxpayers "too" much.

Property taxes; benefit for the few???
I came a little late to this tram [rim shot] party, but did any of the parties ever discuss whether this should have been appropriately been paid for by special assessment on SoWhat and OHSU? Or whether the invasion of air space should require payment under the concept of eminent domain or inverse condemnation as a governmental taking?

Wine wrote
""""Actually, schools don't directly lose b/c of urban renewal. Equalization (i.e., diversion of income taxes) ensures that any property tax dollars p---ed away on (e.g.) urban renewal get replaced by income tax revenues from the state.""""

That's what I was waiting for.
The big lie.

With some 70 UR districts across the State, Portland having 11 covering 12000 acres,
the so called "replacement" is pure fraud.

The collective impact of UR is an overall reduction of school funding Statewide.

No ifs, ands or "actuallys" about it.

State law requires annual impact reports but Portland refuses to comply.

The string of lies ushering along Urban Renewal
also tells the public the UR funding only comes from the development which would not otherwise occur.
Every district includes large tracts of land already developed and skims every property tax increase on those properties for at least 20 years.

In addition it diverts all property tax dollars from every new building or home regardless if it was spurred by the Urban Renewal.

And on top of that every UR district is passed off as the ONLY way for ANY development to happen within the target parcels.

Urban Renewal has become the cash cow for dishonest planners and city officials.
Allowing them to spend huge sums while neglecting basic services and core infrastructure.

I see a lot of references on this site to an allegation that the Pearl District and other downtown condo towers are doing nothing but attracting more Californians to the area.

I can't find a reference to it now on the web, but I recently read an analysis of where all those new downtown residents came from, and only 10-20% were transplanted Californians like Nicholas Cage's mother, or whoever.

Anyone else see the same article? Does anyone remember where it came from?

I dont care if they are from Calif or not...what burns me is that some of the richest people in the city are buying million-dollar condos and paying miniscule property taxes.
(less than $200 per year for condos that range from $800k to over $2 million? Please...)
But education is #1 to these idiots...yeah, the education we are getting as taxpayers in this city.

Well, I just came fresh from the OHSU presentation to its employees on the OHSU recent construction projects, including the tram [rimshot].

Since the tram [rimshot] is being jointly funded, it cannot be typified as being for the purpose of health care. Instead, it seems that it is pimped as a "transportation project". This is most interesting to me, as the original land deed to the state of Oregon by the heirs of Sam Jackson came with the stipulation that the land known as "Sam Jackson Park", upon which the hospital, dental school, Hatfield Research Center, and Casey Eye Institute are located, must be used for health care, or the property is to revert the the heirs of the family. The tram [rimshot] looks to be a violation of that stipulation upon the deed.
I certainly don't have enough information to make a clear determination, but it looks as though OHSU could lose possession of the land much of the institution sits upon by building the tram with the help of the city. (Noting here that if they built it and paid for it themselves, and limited it's use to OHSU staff and patients, then there would be no conflict with the stipulations upon the deed gifted to the state by the Jackson family.)

Also, I noted that there was minimal discussion of the capital costs of the tram, but one attendee did ask how much the estimated operational costs of the tram [rimshot] would be. The answer: Estimated at $900,000 per year.
At that rate, with the $45 million (soon to be more) construction cost, Jack's suggestion of a fleet of stretch limos has obvious cost benefits over the tram [rimshot]. Plus, although most OHSU employees will ride at no additional cost, non-employees (like all those visitors they are expecting) will be expected to pay a rider fee expected to be similar to a single bus ride.

Also, in the current configuration of the land in the entire SoWhat project, OHSU owns only four square blocks. I guess most of the tif funds will come from those Californicators who buy into the condo towers to the south of the OHSU SoWhat campus. It's a nice touch for OHSU, I'd say.

If the City of Portland can fund a tram, why not build and operate their own jail. Oh, that's right, the county does jails.

How about a jail tram?


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