Portland’s downtown area had been hit hard ever since the pandemic, and in a bid to revive it, the city council decided on Thursday to approve a plan that would bring about a tax-free enterprise zone. It will be in the Northwest Industrial Areas and in Central City.
The plan will allow Portland’s economic development agency, Prosper Portland, to offer tax incentives to bring in businesses. New businesses will create jobs, which will bring in people both looking for work or are in need of their services. It all leads up to a more prosperous economy. Portland isn’t the first to do it, and it won’t be the last; after the pandemic, tax incentives have become a staple economic development tool. What little the city loses in taxes from these businesses will be more than made up for from the economic growth made from it.
If a company decides to set up in the enterprise zones will qualify for special breaks, with the big one being no property taxes for five years.
Commissioners voted on three different agenda items that focus on making investments to create substantial quality jobs. It will also emphasize collaboration between the private sector, community-based organizations, and public entities in order to ensure support for those facing economic disadvantages.
There are many large corporations who are looking for places to set up their branches in areas that are the most economically viable, and Portland’s tax-free enterprise zone is just such an example of what they’re searching for. It’s also a great opportunity for those who want to set up their small businesses. Many can’t afford to start up their own business, or simply haven’t found a place to dig their roots in because of the costs of simply having a building downtown. A five year property tax exemption, among the other breaks, will allow them to invest in their business with a lot less worry.
These laws will also help existing companies who are already downtown. If you want a good example of this, look no further than Daimler Truck, a zero-emission transportation company residing in downtown Portland. They employ around 3,000 people, but their surroundings could be better, as whenever people come to work for the company, they find themselves surrounded by illicit activity, making it hard to recruit new people. The council is going to provide a employment waiver from the e-zone job creation requirement, which will allow the company to complete an investment of around $25 million or more in qualified property, and thus they’ll qualify for the enterprise zone benefits.
Actions like these will allow Portland’s downtown area to become rife with job opportunities once more, and hopefully become the place it once was before the pandemic.