Property Tax Abatement
The coalition successfully pursued a bill in the 2016 legislative session allowing local governments to use their property taxes to create incentives for brownfield cleanup and redevelopment. Tailored to provide flexibility to local jurisdictions, this bill allows cities , counties or ports to create a property tax incentive for specified improvements related to cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties.
A property tax incentive program for brownfields focuses on work done to assess a property’s current contamination and for any cleanup or redevelopment done by the owner. The incentive can offset risks and costs of brownfield cleanup and redevelopment, especially for sites that would otherwise remain polluted. Incentives can:
- be targeted to specific reinvestment areas
- have a set of conditions attached for participation
- be enacted at the discretion of the local jurisdiction
- offer a new benefit to nonprofit development organizations
Incentives may include special assessments for land value, exemption for value improvements and personal property. Those incentives can be offered for up to 10 years, with an option to extend for 5 years, according to locally determined criteria. Tax incentives can’t exceed the cost of cleanup, which must be conducted according to an agreement with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Current action: A committee of the coalition is developing a toolbox of resources to help local jurisdictions create their own tax incentive programs.
Property Tax Abatement Resources:
- Read the text of the full bill (HB 4084).
- Read the Portland City Council Resolution (Resolution No. 37307)
- See a presentation about brownfields property tax relief in Oregon (presented by David Ashton, Port of Portland, at the Oregon Brownfields Conference, May 2016)