City of Bend selected for UGB expansion/affordable housing pilot program
On November 16, the state’s Land Conservation and Development Commission selected the City of Bend’s Affordable Housing Pilot Project proposal, as allowed under House Bill 4079. The pilot project allows the City to use a non-traditional UGB expansion process to increase the supply of affordable housing in Bend. A UGB expansion of this type has never before been allowed in the State of Oregon. To qualify for this pilot program, cities had to demonstrate that they developed policies to promote affordable housing within the existing UGB and explain why this type of development could not occur within the current UGB. The pilot program site is approximately 35 acres between U.S. Highway 20 and Bear Creek Road, adjacent to the eastern boundary of Bend City limits. It will contain a mix of housing types including townhomes and apartments and a small commercial space along U.S. Highway 20. There will be 394 homes, including waterfront town homes at market rate and affordable homes for both middle-income residents and those making 60 percent or less of area median income, which is approximately $38,000 annually for a family of four. Bend was selected over Redmond for the project. As the two Central Oregon cities were the only two applicants for the expansion, both municipalities had previously requested that the state award both proposals.
Septic-to-sewer discussions continue, City Council agrees to citywide conversion program
In July 2018, the City of Bend’s Septic-to-Sewer Advisory Committee recommended a plan to limit private property owner costs for conversion to $25,000 per household. But after reviewing the rate implications, Council asked that other alternatives be explored and agreed that the City should pursue implementing a citywide septic-to-sewer conversion program that will allow neighborhoods to apply for City funding for building neighborhood sewer projects. At their November 6 meeting, Bend City Councilors requested that staff bring forward proposals that would reduce the impact on rate payers while still assisting in septic conversions. One proposal earmarks $2.5 million in sewer ratepayer funds each year for targeted work with property owners to extend sewer service to unserved homes – an increase from the current rate model that allocates $1 million annually for these efforts. The other proposal also sets aside $2.5 million annually, but would direct an additional $10 million in the first year of the program to kick start conversion efforts and complete a capital improvement project. City Council will host a public hearing on the topic and consider amendments to Bend Code to implement the citywide septic-to-sewer conversion program during its December 5th meeting. If Council approves, the code will be implemented on February 1, 2019.
REALTOR® Jack Zika wins House District 53
REALTOR® Jack Zika has been elected state representative for Oregon House District 53. Jack is COAR’s first vice president, and also serves on the Redmond Planning Commission, Redmond Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, OAR’s Board of Directors and the OAR government affairs committee. Congratulations, Jack!
Mid-Term Election Results
Approximately 1.75 million Oregon voters cast ballots on Election Day and weighed in on races ranging from local elected bodies to the state's governor, as well as local and state measures. One out of the four candidates supported by COARPAC won – Tony DeBone was successful in his re-election bid for Deschutes County Commission. The Redmond School Bond, which received support from COAR's Issues Mobilization Fund, was defeated by 410 votes out of nearly 24,000 ballots cast. In statewide contests, out of the 34 OARPAC-supported candidates running for Oregon house seats, 29 won. Among the winners were Jack Zika, Cheri Helt and Mike McLane representing Central Oregon districts. Ballot Measure 102 came out on top, while Measure 104 was defeated by voters. Governor Kate Brown won re-election against Representative Knute Buehler, and Democrats secured a supermajority in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature. While the results were mixed in this contentious election cycle, we will work to develop relationships with newly elected officials throughout Central Oregon and look forward to working together on key issues, such as affordable housing, growth and homeownership. Thank you for your support of the REALTOR® Party and REALTOR® champions in our region!
New Video Series: What REALTORS® need to know about the New Tax Law
This video series hosted by Evan Liddiard, NAR’s Director of Federal Tax Policy, and Peter Baker of the Business Planning Group, provides an overview of 2018's new tax laws. The series offers guidance for individuals and families filing tax returns and discusses the tax incentives of owning a home, as well as business tax changes for real estate professionals.
Save the Date: Realtor Day at the Capitol
On April 2, 2019, OAR will host REALTOR® Day at the Capitol in Salem. COAR will be offering bus transportation to Salem with stops in both Bend and Sisters. REALTOR® Day at the Capitol is a valuable opportunity to meet your elected officials and advocate for your business and industry on key issues. Save the date and watch for email updates with further details.
NAR: Keep Rental Deduction Simple
“The new deduction for qualified business income included in last year’s tax reform act should be simplified and made easily available to the 10 million Americans who report income from rental real estate.” That was the main message delivered recently by Iona Harrison, a REALTOR® from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, as she testified before a public hearing held by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Ms. Harrison was referring to requirements outlined in proposed rules released in August requiring owners of rental real estate to determine whether their rental activity rises to the level of a “trade or business” under Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code in order to claim the deduction. To solve the problem, NAR recommended to the IRS that all real estate rentals be considered as meeting the “trade or business” requirements for purposes of claiming the deduction. The stakes are high for the estimated 40 percent of NAR members who own rental real estate, as the deduction can reach as high as 20 percent of the net rental income earned from the property. The Treasury Department and IRS are aiming to release the final rules before the end of the year in order to give guidance to owners in time for filing 2018 tax returns.