Friday, September 15, 2017

Metro Council Considers Taxes to Fund Affordable Housing

The Metro Council, which oversees ares of Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties that fall within the UGB, is considering tax measures aimed at funding affordable housing initiatives. The Council is considering a construction excise tax, a property tax measure, or authority to use money generated from property tax increases. The city of Portland already has a 1% construction excise tax, and in November 2016 city voters passed an affordable housing bond measure. Other cities in Metro's jurisdiction have not taken comparable steps to address the shortage of affordable housing units. More than half of severely cost-burdened households in the metro area live outside of Portland, but far fewer affordable units have been built outside city limits. Although development costs are higher in Portland, the city provides better access to transportation and job opportunities than can be found in the suburbs and outlying areas. Metro staff had a meeting to discuss proposals with the Metro Policy Advisory Committee September 13th, and the Council is set to begin discussions with the 24 city councils and 3 county commissions that make up the metro area. Read more.