Portland City Council to Vote on New Development Tax
Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman proposed last month a tax on new development that, if passed, would fund the creation and preservation of affordable housing in the city.
The Portland City Council will vote on the proposal on June 16. If passed, the tax would equal 1% of the total permit valuation on new residential and commercial development. The city estimates the that the residential development tax will raise roughly $5.4 million per year, according to a press release from the city of Portland. It expects the commercial tax to raise $2.6 million per year.
Of the money raised from residential development, 15% must go to the state for affordable home ownership, 50% must contribute to inclusionary zoning program incentives, and 35% must go towards affordable housing, according to the release. State law also dictates that 50% of the commercial tax must go towards affordable housing, though Saltzman proposed using 100% of that contribution for the development and preservation of affordable housing in Portland.
“As Housing Commissioner my primary goal has been to increase the supply of affordable housing. The key to achieving this has been to increase and diversify our funding mechanisms for affordable housing. This tax on new development would provide us with a new, much needed revenue stream,” Saltzman says in the press release.
The proposal is made possible by an inclusive bill passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2016 that authorized local governments enact inclusionary zoning and implement construction excise taxes on new development.
Union Pacific Train Derailment Follows $34M Investment Announcement
Just days after Union Pacific announced plans to invest $34.6 million to improve transportation infrastructure in Oregon, a train derailment stole the headlines. The derailment occurred in Mosier, Ore. and involved a 96-car oil train.
The Hood River News reports that the derailment caused the evacuation of homes and a school. The publication also reports that the several cars lost about 42,000 gallons of oil and officials removed 10,000 gallons from Mosier’s wastewater system. Firefighters responded to the scene. Union Pacific has spent $33 billion on infrastructure improvements from 2006 to 2015 and those “investments contributed to a 25 percent decrease in derailments over the last 10 years,” according to a press release.
A track defect apparently caused the derailment, according to The Oregonian. The publication also reported that Union Pacific has a history of violations with Oregon Department of Transportation and no railroad in the country paid more penalties to federal regulators over the past two years.
Of the over $30 million Union Pacific plans to invest in Oregon, $28.5 million will go towards maintaining railroad track and $3.8 million will fund the maintenance of bridges, according to a Union Pacific press release. The investment is part of a larger $3.75 billion expenditure the company is making across its network this year. The company has spent over $193 million on infrastructure improvements in Oregon since 2011.
The company will spend several million dollars each to improve lines between Chemult and Oakridge, Bridal Veil and Hood River, and Stanfield and La Grande.
AGC Washington Names First Female Project Manager of the Year
The Associated General Contractors of Washington made history at the AGC Build Washington Awards when the group named Turner Construction Company’s Susan McCants the first female Project Manager of the Year.
“I love this industry,” McCants says in a press release from Turner Construction. “There are so many opportunities for women, and it keeps getting better all the time. It is awesome to know that the projects you work on make a real difference in your community.”
Women in construction earn 93.4% of what men make in the industry, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures cited by the National Association of Women in Construction. While that figure leaves room for improvement, it is an improvement over the national trend, which has women earning 82.1% of what men make, on average.
McCants has over 20 years of industry experience and received the award as recognition for her work Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Station project. During her 12 years with Turner Construction, McCants contributed to multiple notable projects like the C1-100% Final Baggage Screening Facility and the Rental Car Facility at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Wayne Schutsky contributed to this report.