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Thanks to Jonathan Hayes for his recent letter clarifying how the urban renewal process works.

It was established about 50 years ago in Oregon to provide a mechanism to attract businesses, create jobs, and improve communities.

If Corvallis residents would like to see a great example of how urban renewal can revitalize a community, we only have to look to our neighbor to the east, Lebanon. The formerly depressed community was first able to attract businesses with family-wage jobs, such as Entek and Lowe's, and that led to attracting the medical school, the veterans' home, and two Linn-Benton Community College training centers, one for auto mechanics and one for medical training for assisting personnel such as nurses and technicians. Many new small businesses have opened their doors and operate successfully.

It is all accomplished without increasing taxes, by generating income from the increase in assessed value due to improvements in the district. Typically, the agency sells bonds to provide for infrastructure and other improvements. The tax funds generated are used to repay the bonds. When the district expires, the new assessed value goes to increase the tax base of all government agencies supported by property tax. Study the proposal. You will find it is a win-win for the entire community. Please vote "yes" on Measure 2-121. 

Judy Hill

Corvallis (Feb. 9)

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The author served on the board of Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services, which has supported the creation of the urban renewal district in South Corvallis.

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