LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Mike Franklin from the Chowder Bowl raised a good question in his response to the Prepared Food Tax in the News Times Friday. He asked if the city could consider an Economic Development District, to raise funds, instead of the proposed tax.
Economic Development Districts in Oregon are created by the Economic Development Administration of the United States Department of Commerce. In our area it is the Cascades West Economic Development District in Albany that administers them. They coordinate regional economic policy and are closely allied with the Governor’s regional solutions team and regional solutions centers.
Economic Improvement Districts are akin to Limited Improvement Districts to develop or promote economic activity in a city. They are project specific, limited in terms of their life-span and only apply to property zoned for commercial or industrial use. They are funded through a supplemental property tax levy or business license assessment. If enough businesses push back against the formation of an Economic Improvement District, then it cannot be formed. Our parking districts were a type of Economic Improvement District. These LIDs are paid for by local property owners and businesses and not the tourists.
The bottom line on the Economic Development Districts is that local businesses would have to pay for them. This is not what the Budget Committee and City Council were working on to try to get additional participation on funding from tourists.
Submitted by Mayor of Newport, Dean Sawyer
The above Letter to the Editor submitted by Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer reflects the opinions of Mayor Sawyer and others supporting his economic plan. Mayor Sawyer’s views and opinions are his own and likewise those of his supporters.