Housing Tax Exemption: There is a lot on the agenda for the upcoming Corvallis City Council meeting on Feb. 21, but one item that is on the forefront of our community’s mind is whether the council will move forward with a proposal for low-income housing tax exemptions.
In a memo to the council from Finance Director, Ryan Seidl, the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program will incentivize future development of affordable housing, and the taxing districts would still see the base tax, prior to development. Also, after the development is completed, it would eventually become taxable again.
“The increased value of the development will be fully realized no later than year 11 when the tax benefit ends. MUPTE projects can receive tax benefits for less than the maximum 10-year period if the demonstrated need is smaller,” said Seidl.
Notably, the incentives would spur more multiple story buildings, which means more developed square feet of taxable space once the exemptions expire.
At a Work Session on Jan. 19, the council agreed with staff recommendations for the MUPTE with a minimum number of four units, and eligible zones that will include north of Monroe Avenue, east of 26th Street, and south of Van Buren Avenue and west of 14th Street.
The other part of the program includes the Low-Income Rental Housing Property Tax Exemption (LIRPTE) aimed at creating long term property tax benefits in exchange for producing affordable housing.
“For-profit owners of LIRPTE projects receive the benefit for 20 years, and it can be reviewed and renewed. Non-profit owners of LIRPTE projects are eligible for an annual review/renewal process,” said Seidl.
These proposals are now backed by both the Benton County Board of Commissioners and the School Board; the next step is for final approval by the council. After that, developers could submit plans that would then be approved on a case-by-case basis.
Other agenda items include a second reading of proposed changes to the city’s abandoned vehicle codes, structuring a request that voters renew the city’s livability levy this November, and the Business Right-of-Way Program. For meeting information and materials click here.
Ranked Choice Voting: Benton County Board of Commissioners will look at a proposal to revise the current ranked voting system at the Feb. 21 meeting.
The current ranked choice voting process means an automatic recount for all candidates until there is a winner. The proposed amendments would eliminate a recount for candidates that are mathematically unable to win.
This will be the first reading of an ordinance to make those proposed changes. Benton County was the first in Oregon to enact a ranked choice voting system. Click here to attend this meeting online or get materials for the meeting.
By: Jennifer Williams