Tax & Financial Measures to Fund Affordable Housing

Public entities – both locally and statewide - can reach out for partnerships with private entities to create and facilitate workforce housing that are win/win solutions for the community as a whole.  Shifting some of the land and housing cost burdens onto the housing sectors that are inflating housing costs for local residents is especially apropos for the coast and resort communities. In Manzanita, for instance only 1/4 of the homes are lived in year round.

  • Real Estate Transfer Tax / Recording Fee

A tax or fee on real estate transfers was introduced in the 2007 Oregon Legislature as a funding source that could be used for affordable housing. Although it did not pass, it came close and continues to be part of the Legislative Agenda for the Oregon Housing Alliance.

  • Eliminate Tax Breaks for Second Homes  - Homestead/Rentstead Tax Exemption 

Property tax exemptions for residents in coastal communities are one mechanism to shift property tax burdens from full time residents to vacation and short-term rental houses.

This releases household budget funds to help meet the higher local housing costs. A savings of $1200/year yields $100/month towards rent or house purchase capability.

  • Expand Property Tax to Intangible Property  – Taxing stocks and bonds spreads the load of property taxes so that people have more monthly income to help them afford housing.

  • Tax and Financial Incentives to Builders

The City of Bend – under huge development pressure in the last few years - has one of the most creative and successful incentive programs we know about.

Many communities defer or make special arrangements about Systems Development Charges, permit fees, and parking.

  • Tax Exemption or Tax Reduction for Construction of Affordable Housing  - Tacoma, for example, has no property tax for 10 years on all new low income housing construction.