(1) The provisions of ORS 307.600 to 307.637 enable cities to grant local property tax exemptions for multiple-unit housing located in core and transit oriented areas designated by the city. There is a need and demand for better housing at rental rates or sale prices accessible to a bro ad range of the general public in the core and transit oriented areas which is not likely to be produced without this incentive. This incentive is intended to:
(a) Stimulate the construction of transit supportive multiple-unit housing in the city’s core and transit oriented areas to improve the balance between the residential and commercial nature of those areas, and to ensure full-time use of the areas as places where citizens of the community have an opportunity to live as well as work;
(b) Encourage the development of vacant or under-utilized sites in core and transit oriented areas, rather than sites where sound or rehabilitable multiple-unit housing exists;
(c) Encourage the development of multiple-unit housing, with or without parking, in structures that may include ground level commercial space;
(d) Encourage the development of multiple-unit housing, with or without parking, on sites with existing single-story commercial structures;
(e) Encourage the development of multiple-unit housing, with or without parking, on existing surface parking lots; and
(f) Preserve existing publicly assisted housing that is affordable to low income persons by providing the incentives authorized in ORS 307.600 to 307.637 to existing multiple-unit housing that is subject to a low income housing assistance contract with an agency or subdivision of this state or the United States.
(3) Applications for property tax exemption hereunder shall be filed with the city manager and shall be accompanied by an application fee. The application shall contain the information required by, and be processed in accordance with, administrative rules adopted by the city manager in the manner described in section 2.019 of this code. Prior to filing the application, the applicant, including at least one of the applicant’s principals, must have arranged for and attended one public engagement opportunity with residents in the neighborhood, including the board of any city-recognized affected neighborhood association, and then included in the application copies of comments received from the meeting or documentation of the applicant’s attempt to solicit comments.
(4) Following receipt of a completed application, the city manager shall retain an independent outside professional consultant to review the project’s financial pro-forma, with the costs of that review to be paid for by the applicant. The city manager shall also convene the review panel authorized by subsection (13) of this section to review the application and the independent consultant’s conclusions. The review panel shall make a recommendation to the city manager about whether the application meets the criteria in section 2.946, and provide any other comments about the project’s financial projections. After the city manager receives the review panel’s recommendation and comments, but in no event later than 135 days following submission of the application, the city manager shall provide the council with the city manager’s recommendation on the application, and shall provide to the council the independent consultant’s conclusions as well as the review panel’s conclusions.
(5) Upon receipt of the city manager’s written recommendation on an application, the council shall consider the application, the city manager’s written recommendation, and any written comments submitted on the application. If the council fails to act on an application within 180 days from the date it was filed, the application shall be deemed approved and processed thereafter in accordance with subsection (10) of this section.
(6) At the meeting at which the city manager’s recommendation on an application is considered, or at a subsequent meeting, the council shall adopt a resolution approving the application and granting the property tax exemption, or adopt a resolution disapproving the application and denying the property tax exemption.
(7) The council shall approve an application if the council determines that the criteria described in section 2.946 of this code have been met. The resolution approving the exemption shall set forth any specific conditions of approval. The exemption may not include the land or any improvements not a part of the multiple-unit housing. The exemption may include parking constructed as part of the multiple-unit housing construction, addition or conversion, and commercial property to the extent that the commercial property is a required design or public benefit element of a multiple-unit housing construction, addition or conversion approved by the city. In the case of a structure to which stories or other improvements are added or a structure that is converted in whole or in part from other use to dwelling units, only the increase in value attributable to the addition or conversion may be exempt from taxation.
(8) If the council determines that one or more of the criteria in section 2.946 of this code are not met, the council shall deny the application. The resolution denying an application shall set forth the specific reasons for denial.
(9) The city manager shall forward to the applicant a copy of the resolution adopted by the council within 10 days from the date the council acts on the application. In addition, on or before April 1 following approval, the city manager shall file with the county assessor a copy of the resolution approving an application.
(10) With respect to an application deemed approved through inaction of the council under subsection (5) of this section, on or before April 1 following the expiration of the 180-day period, the city manager shall file with the county assessor an administrative order containing the same findings and information as required to be set forth in a resolution approving an application and forward a copy thereof to the applicant.
(11) In the case of a structure to which stories or other improvements are added or a structure that is converted in whole or in part from other use to dwelling units, only the increase in value attributable to the addition or conversion may be exempt from taxation.
(12) Notwithstanding subsection (6) of section 2.947 of this code, if the multiple-unit housing is or becomes subject to a low income rental assistance contract with an agency of this state or the United States, the city may extend the exemption through June 30 of the tax year during which the expiration date of the contract falls.
(13) Review Panel.
(a) The city manager shall create a review panel to provide third-party review of individual applications. The panel shall be comprised of the following members:
1. Two at-large neighborhood representatives selected by neighborhood association boards;
2. An additional two representatives selected by the board of the neighborhood association from the neighborhood in which a proposed project is located; and
3. Six technical professionals from the following six groups: architects/green building specialists; building trades union; developers; environmental professionals; public health professionals; and human rights representatives.
In order to be eligible to serve on the review panel, members must sign a confidentiality agreement in a form approved by the city manager.
(b) The review panel shall:
1. Review project applications, including compliance with the criteria contained in section 2.946 and the independent outside professional consultant’s review of the proforma as described in subsection (4);
2. Midway through construction, upon completion of construction, and during the tax exemption period, assist the city manager in reviewing an approved project’s compliance with the requirements of section 2.946 of this code, and the resolution approving the tax exemption; and
3. Assist the city manager in preparing annual reports to the council on the progress that will also include information about the program volume cap and review of the documentation required under subsection (3)(c) of section 2.946 of this code.