Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a funding strategy designed to make strategic investments in housing and economic development to stabilize communities and businesses within a designated geographic area. Assuming those investments increase overall property values and associated taxes over time, TIF allows the City to essentially freeze taxes in this area and capture the increase to fund improvements over 20-30 years that will result in increased district wealth and tax revenues.
When a TIF district is created, the existing property tax revenue from the designated area is split into two parts:
- Frozen Base: Continues to go to the taxing jurisdictions, such as the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and Portland Public Schools.
- Increment: As property values increase over time from new commercial buildings, housing development, gathering spaces or other projects, or from appreciation, the increment goes to Prosper Portland for reinvestment in the district.
In general, TIF captures increases in tax revenue without any change in tax rates. Prosper Portland and the Portland Housing Bureau will receive funds from increases in property value that would otherwise go to taxing jurisdictions. This revenue includes up to 3% per year for existing properties plus any additional value from new development. Prosper Portland and the Portland Housing Bureau will use those resources to pay for public improvements. The City and community committee work together to set 5-year action plans to determine priorities and investments in affordable housing, home repairs, community amenities, commercial spaces for local businesses, or other eligible projects.
In most cases, the result will be that Prosper Portland and PHB will collect taxes that would have otherwise gone to the City of Portland, Multnomah County, and other taxing jurisdictions, not an increase in taxes (see the graph below for information on how TIF revenue is captured).
However, the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund (FPD&R) Plan is required to be fully funded. This requirement means that tax collections must be enough to provide both the amount requested for the FPD&R Plan and for TIF plans. Taxpayers pay an additional amount of taxes for this levy as a result of how taxes are assessed and collected throughout the city. For example, the additional tax rate for the FPD&R Plan for the Cully TIF District is an estimated $0.0014 per $1,000 of assessed value in the first year of the plan, resulting in an extra $0.70 in taxes for a homeowner whose house has an assessed value of $500,000. The FPD&R rate will vary over time depending on the requirements of the plan in any given year compared to total taxable assessed value available to calculate the rate.