The proposed South Corvallis Urban Renewal Project is straightforward, clear and worthy of support. It provides for workforce and low-income housing, a neighborhood commercial center with some stimulus for local businesses, safer streets and bike paths, and environmental and floodplain management. For years many of these projects have been envisioned for the area but never realized. Now South Corvallis community members have initiated creation of an urban renewal district.
Large parcels of vacant land and underdeveloped property along Southwest Third Street/Highway 99 within the proposed boundary offer opportunities. For years, property values have neither grown appreciably nor attracted new investment in the area that would be included in the district. While occupying 4.4 percent of the city’s land area, it currently produces only 2.3 percent of city and county taxes. Opportunity is knocking today.
Property tax on the growth in value in the district will finance the district's projects. By law, state general funds will replace any lost growth of school district and education service district funds. The actual lost growth to the city and county is less than 1.5 percent. The increased tax base created by the district will be available to the entire city when the district ends.
The League of Women Voters of Corvallis urges you to open the door for a healthier and more vibrant South Corvallis. Our approval of this measure reflects the league’s support of urbanization policies that foster diverse communities where people can live, work, shop and play. Vote "yes" for Measure 2-121.
Laura Lahm Evenson
Corvallis (March 8)
The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Corvallis.