City of La Pine – Urban Renewal and the Tax Increment Financing Proposal


General Citizens should be concerned because this is a loss of all future tax dollars that they think they are paying for essential services that will be redirected to La Pine City pet projects. On June 16 the La Pine City Council passed ordinance No. 2014-05 An Ordnance Declaring that Blighted Areas exist in the City of La Pine, establishing the need for an Urban Renewal Agency in the City of La Pine, and electing a method for exercising the powers of the Urban Renewal Agency within the City of La Pine.  The plan uses tax increment financing to fund the future projects.  

Urban Renewal projects in general can include construction or improvement of streets, utilities and other public facilities, assistance for rehabilitation of property, streetscape and signage.

Financing uses tax increment financing which funds projects up to $7,017,000. This does not include interest paid on borrowing by the agency.

The City Council also appointed five members to the new Urban Renewal Agency.

The City is fast tracking the approval process and a July 9, 2014 City Council meeting is set to approve the Urban Renewal Agency. No citizen vote is needed. What is the impact on citizens in Deschutes County?

Tax jurisdictions in Deschutes County will lose $8,762,232 in tax revenue over 25 years.

The City of La Pine proposes to unilaterally sweep tax revenues from Bend La Pine Schools, Public Safety (fire, Police & 911), Library, County Services and others to redevelop their “downtown” and create a new “rodeo” property.

General Citizens should be concerned because this is a loss of all future tax dollars that they think they are paying for essential services that will be redirected to La Pine City pet projects

Even if you are not a resident of the City of La Pine why would you care if they go into $8.7 million dollars’ worth of debt – Because your tax service areas will be picking up the bill which mean less service to you or eventually higher taxes!

The UDR – TIF will remove tax revenue of $8,762,232 Deschutes County service districts such as:

Deschutes County loses $822,000

The Deschutes County Library loses $354,000

Deschutes County Law Enforcement loses $1.5 million

Deschutes County 911 $104,000

La Pine Parks & Rec loses $193,000

Bend La Pine School District loses $3.2 million

COCC loses $400,000

La Pine Fire loses $991,000

City of La Pine loses $1.2 million

The City of La Pine is misstating facts regarding the impact of tax increment districts. The facts are:

TIF is NOT “cost free” as has been promoted. Existing districts and services will continue to see increased costs (and demand) of providing services will lose all future increases in funding essential services. This creates a dilemma of either raising taxes on the taxpayer to replace funds swept up by the City’s TIF. 

Oregon, due to the ballot measure tax caps on annual taxable assessed value and total taxes collect use (put in place to offer the taxpayer some protection from freewheeling spending without a vote) TIF revenues will never realize the optimistic funds promised even if the community grows.  

Recent TIF projects in Oregon have agreed to provide proof that each individual investment by the URA from taxpayer funds guarantees to attract private investment in to the URB. The La Pine proposal does not address this. 

If the residents of the City of La Pine want to look like the City of Sisters I suggest they tax themselves and leave the rest of the County alone!

Citizens in Deschutes County need to ask for answers and action. Contact the La Pine City Council, your County Commissioners, and your service area boards.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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