The impetus for formation of the Willamette Industrial TIF District began in 2003 and the district was adopted by the Portland City Council on November 24, 2004. At 755.5 acres, the Willamette Industrial TIF District became the fourth largest district among the city’s eleven districts created since 1974. The Willamette Industrial Urban Renewal Plan represented a major step to address the critical challenge of attracting new industrial investment in the heart of Portland’s industrial waterfront, which continues to be hampered by an under-use of development sites partly as a result of environmental contamination and adjacency to the Lower Willamette Superfund Site.
View a map showing the boundaries of the Industrial TIF District detailing the four areas.
In 2015, Portland City Council approved a package of amendments which included changes to the WI TIF District to terminate collection of tax increment revenues, release acreage, release tax revenues to taxing jurisdictions, and allow Prosper Portland to support manufacturing companies with remaining bond proceeds. The last date to issue debt was accelerated from FY 2024-25 to FY 2015-16.
The Willamette Industrial TIF District was created to help assure the long-term economic viability of one of the city’s most critical industrial areas and create a new job growth center within the City of Portland. With public benefit in mind, the district was expected to:
- Address Portland’s severe shortage of ready-to-build industrial land. The district opened up vacant acres for much-needed industrial development, which in turn was expected to create family wage jobs for Portland residents.
- Provide financial resources to help address environmental cleanup or other development challenges. Many of these properties would not be redeveloped without this kind of assistance.
- Attract new business and employment.
- Redevelop underutilized properties to create investment and employment opportunities.
- Unlock the unique value of waterfront properties.
- Assist existing businesses in the district. TIF provides a funding source to help these businesses to expand or modernize their operations.
The Willamette Industrial TIF District is within the Portland Enterprise Zone (E-Zone), which allows industrial firms that will be making a substantial new capital investment a waiver of 100% of the amount of real property taxes attributable to the new investment for a five-year period after completion. Land or existing machinery or equipment is not tax exempt; therefore, there is no loss of current property tax levies to local taxing jurisdictions. Prosper Portland is the local sponsor for the Portland E-Zone program. Since 1996, the city’s E-Zone programs have leveraged more than one billion dollars in private investments and have created and retained more than five thousand full-time, quality jobs.