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Politics & Government

Eugene Officials Exploring Construction Excise Tax To Fund Affordable Housing

Aaron Morton

Tonight, the Eugene City Council may direct the City Manager to draft an ordinance for a construction excise tax. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the aim is to fund more affordable housing across the city...which several non-profit groups strongly support.

If passed, the ordinance would impose a 1 percent tax on all new building permits. This stems from the 2016 Oregon Legislative Session, when lawmakers approved new funding methods for affordable housing.

Jacob Fox is Executive Director of Homes for Good. He says the construction excise tax would generate $3 million a year for affordable housing development across Eugene.

Credit flightlog / Flickr.com

“A day doesn’t go by where someone that is homeless doesn’t come into our lobby and ask us for support," Fox says. "Our mission is to provide affordable housing opportunities to everyone in our community.  But in particular, people experiencing homelessness.

"So we know the need is great, and we know our community needs to respond.”

Portland, Corvallis, and other Oregon cities have adopted construction excise taxes in recent years.

Meanwhile, critics say such a tax could increase housing costs, or dampen construction and development.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

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