Program aims to attract manufacturers to Wilsonville with tax breaks

Wilsonville has been successful in wooing businesses to move to the city – just not the types of businesses envisioned in a tax incentive program aimed at attracting manufacturing firms.

The Tax Increment Financing Zone program, adopted by the City Council last year, was designed to bring manufacturers into six underutilized warehouses and distribution centers by offering property tax rebates to businesses willing to invest in those properties and create new, high-paying jobs.

So far, no manufacturing businesses have come to Wilsonville because of the TIF Zone program. Companies have, however, moved into three of the six properties included in the program, but they don’t qualify for the tax incentives.

That’s why the City Council on Aug. 4 voted unanimously to remove those three properties from the TIF Zone program.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - KNAPP“The remaining three TIF Zones, however, are attracting interest from a number of major manufacturing employers who are taking a look at Wilsonville as a potential location to set up shop,” Mayor Tim Knapp said.

Among the three properties removed from the TIF Zone program are:

* The former Hollywood Video headquarters on SW Peyton Lane, now occupied by Convergys

* The former Joe’s distribution center on SW Boeckman Road, now occupied by Southern Wine and Spirits

* A second former Hollywood Video building at the corner of SW Parkway Center Drive and Elligsen Road, reported to be the future home of several car dealerships

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - STARRCity Councilor Scott Starr is an enthusiastic supporter of TIF Zones. Despite no companies having yet taken advantage of the program, he says, it’s a marketing tool and a demonstration to Wilsonville’s effort to be a business-friendly city.

“That is very, very important to me,” Starr said previously. “Because if businesses want to be here and pay taxes, it keeps my taxes lower. It has attracted a lot of businesses, absolutely. Do we want manufacturing? Sure. But did creating what we created help market the city better and bring businesses here? Absolutely.”

Knapp said the city is being responsible by removing the three properties from the TIF Zone program.

“By closing down three of the six TIF Zones, the city is demonstrating responsible use of urban renewal, since those three large buildings are not to be used for manufacturing,” he said.

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