By Zach Arbogast
A Tax Increment Financing district has been established in Oregon.
The Oregon City Council unanimously approved four ordinances Tuesday night to officially establish the TIF district.
The ordinances declared Oregon’s qualification for a TIF, outlined the area it will affect, established a TIF fund, and set up an agreement with the school district to share TIF funds as the population grows and school attendance raises.
The TIF lasts for a maximum of 23 years. After that, and after all city investments in public and private redevelopment projects are fully repaid, all taxing bodies will benefit from the growth in property tax revenue.
During the 23 years, the taxing bodies will not benefit from any increases in property tax revenue without an intergovernmental agreement.
Mayor Ken Williams said the sacrifice from the taxing bodies will not be significant enough to outweigh the growth – which he maintains would not likely happen without the TIF.
Altogether, between public hearings, mailed notices, and economic studies, Williams said it has cost the city around $40,000 between Nov. 8 and Feb. 28 to get the TIF fully established.
According to Williams, this is Oregon’s largest-scale economic development initiative in more than 20 years.
“We have serious means to attract businesses, jobs, and families to Oregon with this” said Williams. “Spring is coming, and now that this is set up, we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work attracting development.”
Commissioner Jim Barnes had raised concerns about the district, but supported its creation.
“I’ve considered both ways and listened to arguments from both sides. I think it’s a good thing for the city and it would be a detriment to vote against it” he said. “If we get the money to where it needs to be, and handle it correctly, it can be a great thing.”
The TIF district includes downtown, the riverfront, and the Pines Road corridor, and Daysville Road.
The TIF fund can be used for low-interest loans for businesses that want to locate in the TIF district or for infrastructure improvements in the district, such as roads and sewer and water mains.