Low Income Housing Incentives: As we’ve been reporting, the Corvallis City Council is looking to tax exemptions to incentivize developers willing to build low-income housing, but they need 51% of our local taxing districts to agree. On Tuesday, the idea scored a significant victory.
The Benton County Board of Commissioners has now showed its enthusiasm for the tax exemption program aimed at helping combat the ongoing housing crisis. At their Feb. 7 meeting the commissioners unanimously voted in support of the City of Corvallis plan.
“Corvallis is the most rent-burdened city in the state and needs a diversity of housing types to support the growing community. To support the development of additional housing, the city needs more tools in its toolbox,” said Housing and Neighborhood Services Manager Brigetta Olson. “Property tax exemption programs are housing development tools, recommended by the Housing Development Task Force (HDTF) and the Housing Operational Committee.”
The council will look at considering the implementation of tax incentive programs including the Low-Income Rental Housing Property Tax Exemption (LIRPTE) Program for nonprofits and for-project organizations, and the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) Program.
“If these property tax exemptions are approved, they will not be “by right” but will serve as a tool that can be utilized on a case-by-case basis,” said Olson. “If the project meets the necessary criteria and if the council agrees to approve the project’s application, then the application will be considered by other taxing districts such as the county. If the project is approved by 51% of the taxing districts, a tax exemption would be granted.”
Olson told commissioners that the next step will be presenting it to the school board on Thursday and then bringing it back to the Corvallis City Council at the Feb. 21 meeting for further discussion.
Abandoned Vehicle: The Corvallis City Council remains at odds over a proposal aimed at amending the current Corvallis Municipal Code (CMC) for processing and disposal of impounded vehicles.
At the Feb. 6 council meeting, an ordinance to make those changes to the current CMC passed 5-2, with councilors Shepherd and Lewis opposing. However, since the vote was not unanimous, the ordinance will come back to the council for a second reading.
The changes were brought to the city by Corvallis Police Chief Jason Harvey who stated in a letter to council, “over the course of the last year police department staff have been working with other city departments in response to community concerns regarding abandoned and illegally parked vehicles within the Corvallis city limits. The issues related to abandoned and illegally parked vehicles have created a measurable impact on livability within the city to include safety and environmental concerns.”
The ordinance will be heard for a second time at the Feb. 22 council meeting, at which point, the council could enact the updated codes with a simple majority.
Trash Talks: The Benton County Solid Waste Workgroup has several upcoming meetings that they want the public to be aware of. The next work group meeting will take place on Feb. 23 prior to the next draft report release.
“At the end of this month we will be releasing draft to the public for review before the final decisions are made,” said Darren Nichols, Community Development. “We will also be holding a virtual open house on Monday, February 27th and it will be open to the public to ask questions.”
We do not have details on the open house, as of press time, it was not on the County’s website.
- Meeting #8: February 23, 2023 (Thursday), 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm
- Meeting #9: March 16, 2023 (Thursday), 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm
In a release, the County said they will continue to provide updates about the workgroup through March 2023. The goal of the County and the workgroup is to be transparent while working with community members, key stakeholders, and other local, state, and federal partners.
All meetings are held in person at the Kalapuya Bldg. located at 4500 SW Research Way, first floor board room chambers, or online through Zoom. Learn more about the Solid Waste Process Workgroup.
By Jennifer Williams