East Portland TIF Exploration

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East Portland TIF Exploration2024-04-05T09:00:05-07:00

East Portland TIF Exploration

Contact: Dana DeKlyen, Roger Gonzalez, or Kathryn Hartinger –  email

Tax increment financing (TIF) districts in Portland have been instrumental in implementing ambitious land use plans. TIF resources have facilitated investment into regional assets and infrastructure like light rail, the Oregon Convention Center, and the East Bank Esplanade. Recently, Prosper Portland has used TIF in innovative ways that focus on people. The creation of the Neighborhood Prosperity Network (NPN) and the 2022 creation of the Cully TIF District are two examples. Significant community engagement, leadership, and outreach informed both these efforts.

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In early 2022, members of the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) began convening a group of community organizations, Prosper Portland and Portland Housing Bureau staff, and other stakeholders to explore the use of TIF in East Portland. The group used the Cully TIF District as a model of stabilization, anti-displacement, and equitable growth.

City Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who oversees the Community and Economic Development service area, has directed Prosper Portland and the Portland Housing Bureau to partner with community in a broad TIF exploration process for East Portland, inclusive of the area around 82nd Avenue. She has also directed the agencies to advance the work as far as possible before the change in City government occurs at year-end 2024.

Exploration discussions have honored and will continue to build upon years of community planning efforts (e.g., East Portland Action Plan, People’s Plan, Parkrose Community Plan) to identify which types of community aspirations and needs might be eligible for TIF funding, and which are not. Potential outcomes of the exploration process include the creation of one or more new TIF districts, no creation of districts, or simply a message that the partners need more time for exploration.

To begin, Commissioner Rubio has appointed an East Portland TIF Exploration Steering Committee. Members from public institutions and partners represent affordable housing, economic development, and non-profits. The committee also includes individual community members (e.g., small business owners and residents). Besides holding a broader conversation on vision and strategy, they will help guide the TIF exploration process. Geographically specific working groups will primarily conduct that process.

The Process

Led by Commissioner Carmen Rubio’s office, this Steering Committee will guide the TIF exploration process. It will allocate available TIF acreage to general geographies for exploration. It will also serve as the recommending body to City Council if exploration results in the creation of TIF districts.

Once the Steering Committee has confirmed general exploration geographies, the city, in partnership with the committee, will establish Working Groups.

Working Groups will work with local community-based organizations to conduct funded, focused engagement with priority populations. City staff will engage with the broader public. After hearing from community members, the Working Group will determine whether to move forward with plan development. At any point during exploration or plan development a Working Group may opt to pause or not move forward with district creation by a majority vote.

These documents are legally required to establish a TIF district. They contain, among other information, guiding principles, findings demonstrating investment needs, and eligible types of projects.

A Governance Charter details the creation, principles, functions, and organization of a leadership structure which will inform future priority planning and have an oversight role.

Engagement with the Prosper Portland Board and Portland City Council to receive guidance and input on the proposal.

Following guidance and input from elected outreach, partners will finalize the proposal for the public approval process.

The Prosper Portland Board will vote on the Draft Plan and Report, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will provide a recommendation on the proposal before it moves to the City Council for consideration. A super-notice and three public hearings will capture public comments on the proposal.

The Leadership Structure(s) defined in the Governance Charter will provide oversight on five-year Action Plans that advance the goals of individual District Plans.

The Governance Structure(s) will identify specific priorities, projects, and investments for the first five years of each TIF District.

Engagement Opportunities

Community Leadership Committee

A Community Leadership Committee (CLC) will provide guidance and oversite on implementation of the Cully TIF District Plan. The group will convene in late 2023 and begin work developing an action plan, which will identify specific investments for a five-year period.

CLC meetings are open to the public and will include a period for public comment. Committee meeting dates, as well as notice of additional engagement opportunities, both general and more focused, will be posted to this project website when available. Check back periodically for updates.

East Portland TIF Exploration Steering Committee

Jessica ArzateMultnomah Ed. Service Dist.Public Institutions
ShaToyia BentleyThe Ebony CollectiveHousing
Kimberly BranamProsper PortlandPublic Institutions
Bill BruceRaimore ConstructionEconomic Development
Lee Po Cha/Tina DoIRCOAt-large
Jonath ColonCentro CulturalEconomic Development
Nuhamin EidenUnite OregonAt-large
Moe FarhoudProperty OwnerHousing
Tye GabrielEast Portland ChamberEconomic Development
Christina GhanCommissioner Rubio's OfficePublic Institutions
Duncan HwangAPANOEconomic Development
Matina KauffmanHabitat for HumanityHousing
Arlene KimuraResident, Hazelwood / EPAPHousing
JR LillyFormer EPAP AdvocateAt-large
Kevin MartinRenterHousing
Annette MattsonMHCCAt-large
Andy MillerOur Just FutureHousing
Mourad RatbiEast Portland Community OfficeAt-large
Jeff RenfroMultnomah CountyPublic Institutions
Angela RicoCommissioner Rubio's OfficePublic Institutions
Molly RogersPortland Housing BureauPublic Institutions
Carmen RubioPortland City CommissionerPublic Institutions
Nick SauvieRose CDC / EPRCHousing
Alando SimpsonCity of Roses D&R / PBA Chair-electEconomic Development
Qing TanPure Spice RestaurantEconomic Development
Sabrina WilsonRosewood InitiativeEconomic Development

Steering Committee Meetings

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a TIF district?2023-10-19T09:26:49-07:00

TIF is a state-authorized, redevelopment and finance program designed to help communities improve and redevelop areas that are physically deteriorated, suffering economic stagnation, unsafe or poorly planned. In short, it’s intended to leverage public resources (in the form of tax funds) for re-investment in the community.

How has Prosper Portland’s use of TIF evolved?2023-10-19T09:26:36-07:00

Prosper Portland’s use of TIF resources has been progressive. TIF has supported Action Plans in Old TownNorth/Northeast, Gateway, and Lents with goals like affordable commercial tenanting and investments that align with the agency’s strategic goals for healthy neighborhoods and widely shared prosperity.

In 2011, the creation of the Neighborhood Prosperity Network employed a community-city partnership to build capacity for community-specific economic development. The shift in TIF usage also redirected focus toward low-income populations and communities of color. However, these NPN districts are small and limited in duration, generating very modest tax increment finance revenue over a decade. The Cully TIF District area contains two NPNs, Our 42nd Avenue and Cully Boulevard Alliance.  The East Portland exploration area contains four NPNs: Rosewood Initiative, Division-Midway Alliance, Historic Parkrose, and the Jade District.

The newest TIF district in Cully will bring new resources to help stabilize Cully residents and businesses vulnerable to displacement, so they can stay and benefit from the prosperity that inevitable growth can bring, rather than be pushed out and replaced by it. The Plan was created using a co-creation model and the process was community-led. A new Cully Community Leadership Committee will guide decision-making related to the use of TIF funds for the life of the district.

How does TAX Increment Financing (TIF) generate revenue?2023-10-19T09:25:47-07:00

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).

Graph describing Tax Increment Financing

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.

What are examples of Prosper Portland’s community-driven neighborhood work?2023-10-19T09:25:29-07:00
  1. The development of Gateway Discovery Park and the adjacent The Nick Fish mixed-use housing project were collaborative, multi-partner, community-driven efforts involving considerable engagement with neighborhood businesses and community members.
  1. The North/Northeast Action Plan Leadership Committee works in partnership with Prosper Portland to implement the Action Plan for the N/NE Community Development Initiative for economic development in the N/NE Interstate Corridor. The Initiative has focused on TIF-eligible, “bricks & mortar” development projects and prioritizes non-TIF investments that support Initiative goals, such as business technical assistance. The committee leads with a focus on engagement with communities of color; supports partnerships with community-based organizations and leaders; provides recommendations on Action Plan direction and investment priorities; identifies service providers to advise on Action Plan implementation; assesses progress; and makes recommendations to improve impact.
What is the process for fund distribution?2023-10-19T09:25:13-07:00

Fund distribution will be handled with transparency and will follow the District Plan priorities, whether through a public and competitive process or in the case of loans or grants, by using program guidelines adopted by the Prosper Portland board and reported on to the public.

What is the process for accountability?2023-10-19T09:25:00-07:00

If TIF exploration results in the creation of a TIF district, accountability is multi-layered: to City Council, the community, the TIF plan and Five-Year Action Plan, budget advisory committee, our auditors, and indirectly, the district’s bond holders. Prosper Portland is responsible for distributing the funds and administering TIF districts for the City of Portland. A TIF proposal must be approved by City Council.

Is this a new tax or levy/fee?2023-10-19T09:24:27-07:00

No, TIF uses existing real estate taxes already being paid to invest back into the community.

The Cully TIF District focuses on “Priority Communities.” What does that mean?2023-10-19T09:23:52-07:00

The Cully TIF Plan takes a targeted universalism approach. Targeted universalism means setting universal goals for a community and then developing strategies to achieve those goals, based upon how different groups are situated within society. By focusing energy on those farthest from the goal, we move the entire community closer to the goal.

The Cully TIF Plan aims to stabilize Cully residents and ensure the neighborhood provides a sense of belonging for everyone. To move the community toward this goal, energy must be spent on those historically marginalized, made invisible, or most at risk of displacement.  The definition of “Priority Communities” in Cully was developed in collaboration  with partners representing those communities, and explicitly states who is intended to most benefit from Cully TIF resources.

For reference, the Cully definition is below; East Portland TIF exploration may rely on this definition, or tailor it to better match their unique communities.

“Priority Communities” refers to the intended beneficiaries of the Cully TIF District: African American and Black persons; Indigenous and Native American persons; persons of color; immigrants and refugees of any legal status; renters; mobile home residents; persons with disabilities; low-income people; houseless people; and other population groups that are systemically vulnerable to exclusion from Cully due to gentrification and displacement.

Does a stabilization-focused TIF District run counter to the City’s density goals?2023-06-16T16:10:36-07:00

No. We are intentionally not using TIF in the traditional way but rather to stabilize residents most vulnerable to displacement as continued growth and increasing property values inevitably come to the area. A stabilization-focused TIF District won’t stop growth and density from coming. Instead, as growth comes, we want to ensure folks can stay and benefit from the prosperity that growth can bring, rather than be pushed out and replaced by it.

Project Documents

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