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Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Urban renewal" swamp gets murkier

Oregon's "urban renewal" laws allow cities like Portland to siphon off property tax revenues and steer them to real estate sharpies, supposedly to clean up "blight" but more often just to make schlock projects "pencil out." It's unfair to all the other public services that are deprived of that revenue, like public safety, schools, mental health crisis lines, and the like, but the developers and landlords have the deck completely rigged.

Now comes a new twist: Multnomah County, starting with former county chair Ted Wheeler, screamed and moaned so much about the revenue drain that the state legislature passed a law requiring Portland to fork over some of its "urban renewal" take to the county. Thus, a squeaky wheel gets greased. But what about the schools? What about the city police and fire bureaus? What about the parks?

Comments (11)

I cal BS on this big time.

It's all a despicable ruse.

Multnomah county is NOT planning on putting the money back into funding services.

"A 2008 advisory committee that pushed to increase spending in the River District recommend payments to Multnomah County for capital needs "to support Multnomah County's efforts to replace two aging downtown facilities."

They are going to use it for the worst use of Urban Renewal, government buildings that don't generate any new revenue.
From what I can tell these payments will be from borrowed UR/TIF proceeds. That means more debt service taking of property taxes.

So this is nothing but a shady maneuver to spend borrowed UR money outside of the UR district and on government buildings.

Making this even worse.
"Multnomah County's lost tax collection is between $26 million and $30 million a year from Portland's 11 urban renewal districts."

The best thing that could happen is for the County to consolidate its offices into the Convention Center. It's new, it's there, it's "energy efficient" and it's already a government building that sits empty 75% of the time.

Then sell the downtown blocks to a private developer and return that land to taxpaying status.

Ben "Multnomah County's lost tax collection is between $26 million and $30 million a year from Portland's 11 urban renewal districts."
JK: That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Here are some more:

Schools (PPS, Parkrose, etc.)...$36,014,559
Portland City.........................$34,387,210

For a total of .......................$96,701,162
Every year! (Well actually it has been growing year by year.)

From page 70 the 2011-21 TSCC annual report:


I am surprised the new URA reimbursements for Multnomah County aren't "FOR THE CHILDREN"...

Tough luck, kids!

I thought a change in state law awhile back forced cities to start giving URA revenues to other impacted entities earlier than was typically done. That should have included school districts.

In any event, PPS was bought off by including Lincoln HS in the infamous lobster-shaped URA centered around PSU Sam proposed last year.

Extortion via legislature...

Doesn't solve anything- just spreads the public shakedown around.

Of course the Oregonian will never cover the dissolution of California Urban Renewal. I actually wrote to them asking, along with a link to the LA Times. The response I got stated that They, the Oregonian, don't follow the LA Times.

It's just as well that the Oregonian doesn't cover CA, because they might learn about (and then shill for) the replacement scam -- the pollution cap-and-trade "market".

No really -- it's gonna be so big, that it will single-handedly pay for the $10 billion high speed rail project. Just pick the cash off of the tree.

None of that cost will be passed along to consumers and ratepayers of course... yeah.

Oregonian: "Columbia Sportswear's 2001 Portland exit emerges as issue in mayoral election"


Just commented on that the other day, and I'm very glad it came up, and hope that this sort of behavior becomes an ongoing issue in the upcoming election.

For his part, Hales says it's time to move beyond blame. "What went wrong 12 years ago is sad," Hales said. "Everybody remembers it with sorrow. I sure would like to spend some time solving the problem."

I'll bet Charlie would like us to move forward and not look back. So he likes to "shape" it as it is time to move beyond blame, I would say it looks more like he would prefer it as time to move beyond holding him accountable for what he did.
Some us simply do not want Charlie's brand of solving problems.

"I'm sorry you left mad," Hales joked, pledging to bring Columbia Sportswear back.

Tell those people in St. Johns, how he is intends to bring back that Johnswood Park including huge glorious trees he got rid of and sold for a housing development!

Speaking of Charlie.
Here he is pimping to take money from schools and other basic services to give to the condo weasels:


This doesn't stream, you have to download it, then view.


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