Urban Renewal to Invest in Infrastructure

Happy Valley residents have asked for more investment in:

♦improved roads ♦ better sidewalk connections ♦ land for parks ♦ and more

We know, for example, that residents would prefer 172nd Avenue north of Sunnyside to be completed at once, rather than the continued half-street improvements made by developers. We also know connecting 162nd Avenue is important to link the Taralon neighborhood with the future high school near Rock Creek. To bring these projects to fruition, and many more like them, the City needs a new funding tool – Urban Renewal.

Urban Renewal Districts are limited. Here is a map of the proposed district and the draft project list of infrastructure projects to be funded.

Urban Renewal Finance

Urban renewal does not increase permanent rate levy tax rates.  When an urban renewal area (URA) is established, the assessed value within the URA boundary becomes the “frozen base” assessed value. As assessed value in the URA grows time, the difference between the total assessed value and the frozen base is considered “increment” assessed value.

Urban Renewal Impact to Taxing Districts

Each year, property tax revenue from the frozen base in the URA will be distributed normally to all overlapping taxing districts. This is different from the property tax revenue generated from the increment, called Tax Increment Finance (TIF) revenue, which will go to the URA. After the URA is closed, all future tax revenue from the increased assessed valuations is distributed to the overlapping taxing districts. What this means is urban renewal is purely a division of taxes; it does not create a new tax or increase the existing tax rate.

For more information, please contact:

Ben Bryant, Assistant City Manager, 503-783-3840 or Travis Warneke, Finance Director, 503-783-3827