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Construction excise taxes could rise

School board looks at rate change


The Lake Oswego School District may see a jump in one revenue stream next fiscal year.by: FILE PHOTO - Tom Taggart of R&H Construction uses a hammer drill in November 2003 to fix a point in the poured concrete at Lakeview Village, a new retail and commercial center in Lake Oswego.

The school board at its meeting last week gave a first review to administrators’ proposal to boost rates for the district’s construction excise taxes. The tax revenue constitutes about $250,000, which the district can use on capital improvement projects and one-time tangible assets that offer value for longer than a year, such as buying new textbooks or iPads or replacing a failed boiler. The dollars also may apply to debts incurred from such costs.

“We can always use a little more revenue for facilities, that’s for sure,” Superintendent Bill Korach said.

If construction picks up as it is projected to and the board chooses to implement the rate change later, the revenue from the excise taxes would rise to $300,000, said Stuart Ketzler, finance director.

The savings in the construction excise tax fund, this year’s revenue and next year’s revenue would provide the district with approximately $1 million in revenue, which would support the Lakeridge High School stadium upgrades, Korach said.

The state raises the maximum for construction excise taxes annually, and districts choose to raise their own rate within the limit. The rates the district would be eligible for next fiscal year would be $1.17 per square foot for residential projects and 58 cents per square foot for nonresidential projects. The district has been at the same rates since 2010: $1 per square foot for residential builds and 50 cents per square foot for nonresidential construction. The maximum payout is $25,000. Nonresidential construction includes industrial and commercial projects, such as the redevelopment of the Wizer property.

Patti Zebrowski, school board chairwoman, said that project could give the district a big increase in revenue.

Construction excise tax revenue mostly comes from builds in Clackamas County, which comprises about 99 percent of the district’s taxing area with another about 1 percent coming from construction in Washington and Multnomah counties.

The rate increase issue is slated to come before the board again Jan. 13, and the rate change would be effective fiscal year 2014-15, which begins July 1.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @JillianDaley.




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