Bend property tax measure 9-167, a burden to small business

By Oregon Small Business Association,

There are many property tax measures on the May Primary ballot, nearly 50 in total.  But few as costly as the Bend-La Pine school district measure 9-167 which is asking voters for a $1.00 per $1,000 assessed value property tax.   This is triple the cost of other ballot measures.   While this may cost many new homeowners $200 to $750 in higher taxes, that number would easily be triple for many local small businesses that own commercial properties.

It is not only a cost to local small family owned business owners but it impacts the ability to find employees due to high cost of owning a home in Deschutes County.  Oregon Public Broadcasting on November 11th, 2003 said, “In Bend, it’s not uncommon to find many restaurants closed on Monday and long wait times at certain businesses. Employers in Bend are finding it increasingly difficult to fill empty positions and the region’s high cost of housing is often a direct factor…”.  This problem is real.

The Measure 9-197 property tax will makes the Bend-area affordable housing crisis even worse and will add to burdens on businesses which already struggle with soaring electricity and gas prices, and will lead to more layoffs and closed businesses.  This property tax is on top of two other property tax measures facing La Pine voters.  The cumulative effect can be crushing for fragile small business.

Local leaders need to count the cost of lost small businesses when they set unusually high property tax rates.

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