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Legislature ends Gain Share talks for session

State Sen. Ginny Burdick says she has "pulled the plug" on trying to change the Gain Share program during the 2013 Oregon Legislature.

"I still believe the program needs to be changed, but it's just too late in the session to have that conversation. People are just too tired and stressed out," says Burdick, who plans to revisit the issue during next year's session.

The program shares 50 percent of state income dollars generated by economic development projects with local governments that waive a portion of their property taxes to encourage them. Governments in Washington County have been the greatest beneficiaries so far, receiving approximately $12 million from the state last year.

The amount is projected to increase to over $50 million this year, prompting Burdick and other legislators to consider trimming it or dedicating a portion of the funds to school districts.

Washington County Chair Andy Duyck and Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey responded by promising to give $10 million to school districts in the county over the next two years. Duyck says Burdick's decision assures the districts will receive the money.

State Rep. Ben Unger and state Rep. Joe Gallegos both support dedicating 40 percent of Gain Share fund to the schools.

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