The House Revenue Committee, chaired by Representative Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene), adopted the -12 amendments to HB 4027 and unanimously approved the property tax exemption bill Wednesday, Feb. 21st.
The amendment deleted provisions that sought to change the property tax treatment of solar generation facilities, so current statute that allows counties to choose a per megawatt charge or have DOR assess centrally are still the law of the land. Work will continue in the interim on the solar issue.
Also included is an extension of the sunset of a low-income housing property tax exemption by six months to conform with the tax year
Most importantly, for counties that will be affected, HB 4027 repeals the 2015 gigabit property tax exemption that failed to provide the intended broadband expansion benefits. It would end an indefinite exemption and substitutes a new one-year exemption that will be granted by DOR upon application of the two companies (Comcast & Frontier) that have invested under the program. DOR would notify County Assessors of the property tax value reduction, and Assessors would issue a tax bill at this reduced value for 1 year. Assessors worked closely with DOR on the language of the one-year exemption and, along with AOC, supported the measure. AOC supported compensation to these companies, as the short-term loss is necessary to avoid larger long-term revenue losses to all local governments and schools.
The bill passed the floor of the House on Feb. 27th, with a bipartisan vote and died in committee on the Senate side as part of a negotiated deal to end the legislative session
For more details, see the article on OregonLive.
Contributed by: Susan Morgan | AOC Policy Manager