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Readers' Letters

Thanks for supporting Boones Ferry measure

On behalf of the Lake Grove Business Association, we are most grateful that the citizens of Lake Oswego passed the bond measure for Boones Ferry Road, which will fund the first step toward making the Lake Grove Business District safe, accessible and hospitable.

Lake Grove businesses and their neighbors spent years creating and refining the Lake Grove Village Center Plan, and your vote was one more piece of the collaboration for progress. We trust that the city will deploy our bond dollars efficiently and wisely; we will certainly be watching carefully.

The Lake Grove Village Center plan is not about streets or a business district. It is about the people who live here, dine here and shop here, and who want to make Lake Grove as functional and attractive a business district as downtown Lake Oswego has become. For your support in agreeing to modestly tax yourselves for our better future, we thank you from the “major arterials” of our hearts.

John “Jack” Lundeen

Committee for Progress in Lake Grove

Lake Grove

Thanks for supporting Lakewood in Lights

Thank you Lake Oswego Review. The Review’s outstanding advance coverage whet the appetites of patrons and helped make Lakewood in Lights, the Lakewood Center for the Arts holiday gala, our most successful event ever. You reminded readers of the fun to be had in a fundraiser. Your articles alerted potential attendees of what they could expect, and that led them to come and help realize Lakewood Center’s goal: raising Rising Star funds to provide performance and education opportunities for young artists.

As Lakewood Theatre Company/Lakewood Center for the Arts celebrates our 60th anniversary, our ability to continue achieving our mission to inspire and nurture a love of theater and the arts is dependent on people recognizing what we do and why we do it. In a time when we’re all so busy, it’s terrific to have a hometown newspaper working to alert us all to opportunities and how we can support the organizations we love.

Again, thank you Review and thanks to all the wonderful people and businesses who gave so generously toward our success.

Linda Brown

Lake Oswego

Another successful turkey drive

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members who supported the turkey drive last week. Your hard work and generosity resulted in the collection of 25 turkeys and $2,400 in cash at Forest Hills Elementary, Lake Oswego Junior High and Lake Oswego High School for the Oregon Food Bank.

For every $10 donated, the food bank can distribute enough food to provide 30 meals. Your contributions mean that last week our community helped the Oregon Food Bank supply more than 7,000 meals to hungry people in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

From our school families to yours, thank you.

We wish you a wonderful holiday season.

Cheryl Matushak

LOHS Laker Club general treasurer

More to urban renewal stories than you might know

Referring to the story by Kara Hansen Murphey about the Foothills urban renewal: First, I shall say I am opposed to urban renewal as it is currently being applied.

There will be the destruction (to) industrial and current businesses in Lake Oswego (and) businesses in the Foothills urban renewal area will be forced to leave that area and Lake Oswego.

The tax base for government operations and public education in this urban renewal zone are to be frozen to the 2013 tax year. According to Kara Hansen Murphey’s story, the general government receives currently $12 million. Any property value increase, those new taxes go to the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency. If the story is true that the current property tax received is now $12 million for general government and education, and the total tax increase at the end of the 22nd-year lifespan is $575 million, that means that the general government and education (would still be at) $12 million for the district’s life and LORA will get the rest, $563 million for the last year of district’s life.  

East End Urban Renewal District was created in 1987, has reissued new bond(s) (twice) within the last couple years. Will bonds extend ... this renewal zone for another 22 years? Also, this district pays general government and public education tax at the 1987 tax year assessed value and everything above that assessed value goes to LORA, that includes special school bonds. This information can be found on LORA’s website, under revenue sources.

Statewide, urban renewal removed from education in this last tax year, 2012, (more than) $70 million, a increase over 2011 tax year by more than 4 percent. 

The public should be reminded that the urban renewal measure that passed in Clackamas County and (its) rules apply only to the county not to the cities in the county. There is more to the urban renewal stories than what the power brokers in government want you to know.

Charles W. Thompson

Lake Oswego

(Editor’s note: Christine Kirk, public affairs manager for the city of Lake Oswego, responds:

“The city offers clarification of the information on taxes and revenues from the Foothills area presented in the letter to the Review.

“The city does not receive $12 million in taxes from the proposed Foothills urban renewal area. As it is a largely industrial area, the overall value is rather low for waterfront property. With investment in public infrastructure and corresponding new private development, the city anticipates assessed values in the area to increase from $12 million to $575 million over the projected 22-year life of the urban renewal district. In total, approximately $200,000 in taxes is currently generated in the Foothills area, of which the city receives $55,000. When the district expires, the city is anticipated to receive $2.9 million in taxes annually. Additionally, due to the projected significant increase in assessed value, the city and other taxing districts will participate in revenue sharing within 10 years of the formation of the district. Over the life of the district, the city is projected to receive $6.1 million in revenue sharing.

“Also, due to revenue sharing, the State School Fund is projected to have a net positive benefit of more than $5 million dollars over the life of the Foothills urban renewal area, and an increase of $2.6 million in tax revenue the first year after the district expires. The Lake Oswego School District will benefit from the construction excise tax that is collected on new commercial and residential development in the Foothills area, which is estimated at $1 million.

“General obligation (GO) bonds and local option levies issued after October 2001 are not impacted by the new urban renewal district. The issuing jurisdiction will still receive its share of the taxes on any general obligation bonds and local option levies issued after October 2001. Negligible impacts are projected for tax rates on pre-2001 GO bonds. LOSD is presently experiencing impacts of compression on its local option levies; however, they are not projected to experience any additional losses because of this urban renewal district.

“Redevelopment in the area is subject to a development agreement and available private financing. Public investment of funds in infrastructure begins only after such an agreement.”)



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