Chamber advocates for expanding Business Incentive Tax Credit program

By Portland Metro Chamber,

On February 28, Jon Isaacs, the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the Portland Metro Chamber, testified to Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioners Rene Gonzalez, Mingus Mapps, Carmen Rubio, and Dan Ryan, advocating for significant amendments to the Downtown Business Incentive Tax Credit (DBITC) Code.

The Portland Metro Chamber, in partnership with Downtown Portland Clean & Safe—the largest Enhanced Service District in Portland—expressed its full support for the proposed expansion of the DBITC program. This initiative has already been making strides in stimulating economic growth and enhancing the vibrancy of the Downtown, Lower Albina, Lloyd, and Old Town subdistricts. Isaacs proposed that by extending eligibility to the Central Eastside, West End, Pearl, Goose Hollow, South Downtown, and South Waterfront, the program would not only widen its scope but also ensure a more inclusive revitalization of Portland’s central city.

Highlighting the success of the original DBITC program, Isaacs pointed out a notable 14% increase in foot traffic in 2023, marking the highest level of activity in Portland’s Central City since 2019. This underscores the program’s effectiveness in attracting investment and encouraging sustainable economic activities across vital districts.

The proposed expansion aligns with the Chamber’s 2024 State of the Central City report, envisioning a comprehensive cover of the entire Central City in comparison with peer cities. This strategic move is aimed at incentivizing long-term commercial leases, which in turn would boost sustainable investment, increase foot traffic, and stimulate economic activities across all central city sub-districts.

Isaacs extended gratitude to Commissioner Rubio and Mayor Wheeler for introducing this vital amendment, recognizing it as a key component of the Advance Portland plan devised by Prosper Portland. The expansion is seen as addressing all four primary objectives of the plan, marking a critical step toward the holistic revitalization of Portland’s core areas.

The Portland Metro Chamber stands ready to support the implementation of the expanded DBITC program, emphasizing the collective effort required to foster a brighter, more prosperous future for Portland’s central city. The Chamber’s testimony underscores the importance of adaptive, inclusive measures in urban economic development, aiming for a comprehensive recovery and growth of Portland’s heartland.

Read the full letter to the Portland City Council.

Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.