SDC Remix

I received a note that the City of Portland has established a CAC and review process for their Transportation-related System Development Charges (SDCs). I also had a chance to sit in on a presentation about the topic at my neighborhood association.

The fact sheet (PDF, 93K) indicates that the process will review both the project list that SDCs are spent on, and the fee schedule.

SDCs are in theory the way that we get growth to pay for the cost of growth.

However, after the It’s a Beautiful Pizza incident (they were charged $36K in SDCs to move across the street), some might wonder if the fee schedule couldn’t use a little tweaking. This system is complex, and I think it could benefit from a lot of public input.

2 responses to “SDC Remix”

  1. I believe It’s a Beautiful Pizza was not, in the end, charged $36K, and they expanded their shop by, I believe, 1000 square feet. It wasn’t just a move across the street.

  2. Chris, I admittedly don’t have a handle on how various business taxes, fees, charges, etc are tied-in and essential to Portland’s apparent transportation goals. I do know that, outside of those who reap a substantial gain from publicly funded projects, many people start chafing at the seemingly endless tactics that are used to pay for same.

    When I saw the front page of the Portland Tribune following last week’s election I had mixed feelings. The Dems were celebrating—and one cause for it was the anticipation of fewer hurdles to funding Oregon transportation projects. I’m sure their joy was not ill-informed, either. I also noted that some posters who had been relatively silent on this Board, started in again. I’d be foolish to oppose improving our transportation options. But even, being a construction union member, I have never ever gotten employment on our transit projects.

    But I think we should take a hard look at what really works, and what doesn’t. Glad to see there are some fresh ideas coming into this discussion. That is something that, in the past, set Oregonians a little ahead of much of the country. There has always been a certain amount of ingenuity in this territory, being on the frontier of American civilization. Hopefully we’ll get some new creative input.

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