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Temporary Program Changes to Refunds of Sewer Connection Permit Fees, Administrative Rules ENB-4.29, take effect August 1, 2014

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has adopted temporary administrative rules for refunding permit fees for connections to city sewers, storm sewers and drainage systems. The temporary rules apply to situations when a BES connection permit applicant is eligible for a partial refund of the original permit application fee. Refunds are limited to 80% of the connection permit application fee.

Temporary Program Changes to Refunds of Sewer Connection Permit Fees, Administrative Rules ENB-4.29, take effect August 1, 2014

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has adopted temporary administrative rules for refunding permit fees for connections to city sewers, storm sewers and drainage systems. The temporary rules apply to situations when a BES connection permit applicant is eligible for a partial refund of the original permit application fee. Refunds are limited to 80% of the connection permit application fee.

In recent years, the number of speculative connection permit applications that ultimately do not result in a connection to city systems has increased. Contractors bidding a sewer connection job will often submit connection permit applications prior to executing a contract with the property owner for the work. All permits require some level of staff effort to process the application. For cost recovery reasons, BES instituted new language in Portland City Code Chapter 17.32 in July 2014 to generally disallow refunds. The temporary administrative rules describe the limited site, contracting, and permit review situations eligible for partial refund of connection permit application fees.

The temporary administrative rules for partial refunds of BES connection permit fees is posted at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/496411. BES expects to adopt final rules in late 2014 or early 2015 as part of a larger package of administrative rule rewrites regarding BES development-related, land use, and permit review functions. For more information, please contact Dawn Hottenroth at dawn.hottenroth@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7767.

________________________________________________

Thanks,

Dawn Hottenroth

Environmental Policy Analyst

City of Portland

Bureau of Environmental Services

1120 SW 5th avenue, Room 1000

Portland, OR 97204

503-823-7767

fax 503-823-6995

dawn.hottenroth@portlandoregon.gov

www.portlandonline.com/bes

Marine Drive closed during weekend triathlons

A portion of N.E. Marine Drive between N.E. 33rd Avenue and N.E. 223rd Avenue will be closed on Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3 during two triathlon events. Multnomah County will close the section of N.E. Marine Drive between N.E. Interlachen Lane and N.E. 223rd Avenue from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This news release is available online.

NEWS RELEASE

Release: July 29, 2014

Contact: Mike Pullen, Communications Office, 503-209-4111, mike.j.pullen@multco.us

Marine Drive closed during weekend triathlons

A portion of N.E. Marine Drive between N.E. 33rd Avenue and N.E. 223rd Avenue will be closed on Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3 during two triathlon events. Multnomah County will close the section of N.E. Marine Drive between N.E. Interlachen Lane and N.E. 223rd Avenue from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Through traffic should use alternate routes such as NE Sandy Blvd. Access to Marine Drive will be maintained for local residents and emergency vehicles at all times.

Multnomah County maintains N.E. Marine Drive east of N.E. Interlachen Lane. The western portions are maintained by the cities of Gresham and Portland. For information about county roads, visit www.multco.us/roads. For event information, visit http://www.racecenter.com/race-details/?race=3425.

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Mike Pullen | Multnomah County Communications Office | 503-209-4111 | newsroom | twitter | facebook

Downtown section of Troutdale highway to close for Sunday event

The Historic Columbia River Highway in downtown Troutdale will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 3 during the Troutdale Cruise-In event. The closure is between South Buxton Avenue and SE Kibling Street. Interstate 84 is a convenient alternate route when the highway is closed.

This news release is available online.

NEWS RELEASE

Release: July 29, 2014

Contact: Mike Pullen, Communications Office, 503-209-4111, mike.j.pullen@multco.us

Downtown section of Troutdale highway

to close for Sunday event

The Historic Columbia River Highway in downtown Troutdale will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 3 during the Troutdale Cruise-In event. The closure is between South Buxton Avenue and SE Kibling Street. Interstate 84 is a convenient alternate route when the highway is closed.

Multnomah County maintains the western section of the Historic Columbia River Highway. For more information, visit www.multco.us/roads.

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Mike Pullen | Multnomah County Communications Office | 503-209-4111 | newsroom | twitter | facebook

Lane closure during Hawthorne Bridge east sidewalk work

A sidewalk widening project at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, near SE Grand Avenue, will require a daytime lane closure until mid-August. Multnomah County is widening the sidewalk at the east end of the Hawthorne viaduct, the eastbound structure that connects the bridge with SE Hawthorne Boulevard.

This news release is available online.

NEWS RELEASE

Release: July 18, 2014

Contact: Mike Pullen, Communications Office, 503-209-4111, mike.j.pullen@multco.us

Lane closure during Hawthorne Bridge east sidewalk work

A sidewalk widening project at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, near SE Grand Avenue, will require a daytime lane closure until mid-August. Multnomah County is widening the sidewalk at the east end of the Hawthorne viaduct, the eastbound structure that connects the bridge with SE Hawthorne Boulevard.

The final phase of the project involves excavating pavement and the old sidewalk on a section built on fill. The wider work area requires one of the two eastbound lanes to be closed from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays. The closed lane is used by bicyclists and pedestrians.

Eastbound motorists can avoid delays by using alternate crossings such as the Morrison Bridge.

The project will widen 415 feet of sidewalk between the Clay Street offramp and SE Grand Avenue. The current sidewalk is two feet wide, and it will be widened to six feet. New curb inlets for catch basins will be installed under the sidewalk to avoid steel gratings in the bicycle lane. New sidewalk ramps will be built on each side of the Clay Street exit and at Grand Avenue to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, making the bridge’s south sidewalk more accessible.

Construction is expected to be completed in August.

Multnomah County maintains the Hawthorne Bridge, five other Willamette River bridges and 300 miles of roads. For more information, visit www.multco.us/bridges.

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Mike Pullen | Multnomah County Communications Office | 503-209-4111 | newsroom | twitter | facebook

New Survey Provides Further Information for Transportation Funding Working Groups

A new survey provides some additional information on Portlanders’ attitudes about transportation funding options for the citizen working groups the City has convened to advise the City about funding mechanisms to address its significant transportation needs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Chris Warner, Chief of Staff

Office of Commissioner Novick

chris.warner@portlandoregon.gov

Office: 503-823-4682

New Survey Provides Further Information for Transportation Funding Working Groups

July 17, 2014— A new survey provides some additional information on Portlanders’ attitudes about transportation funding options for the citizen working groups the City has convened to advise the City about funding mechanisms to address its significant transportation needs.

"Some business owners were concerned that the proposed non-residential fee, based on trip generation, didn't take into account the profitability of the business. So we tested people's attitudes toward increasing the tax on business profits," said City Commissioner Steve Novick. "The most common concern we heard about the residential fee was that it was regressive. So we tested new versions of the progressive income tax. We also tested a revised version of a sales tax, combined with a business profits tax," Novick said.

The survey, conducted by DHM Research on June 19 through 22, tested separate sets of 300 voters on each of 4 funding options. It found that:

  • Portlanders were closely divided – 47% yes, 48% no - on the idea of raising the city tax on business profits to 4% from its current rate of 2.2%. (That option would raise the entire $53 million annual goal set by the Mayor and Commissioner Novick.)
  • They supported, by 50% to 45%, the idea of an income tax of one-quarter of one percent on incomes below $100,000; 1% on the amount of income between $100,000 and $250,000; 2% on the amount of income between $250,000 and $500,000; and 3% on income above $500,000.
  • And, Portlanders supported, by a margin of 60% to 37%, the idea of an income tax of 1% on incomes above $125,000, 2% on income above $250,000, and 3% on income above $500,000.
  • The survey also tested the concept of combining a smaller increase in the business profits tax (to 3.1%) with a sales tax of one-quarter of one percent that would exclude uncooked food and have a rebate for low-income people. Portlanders disapproved of that option by a margin of 59% to 36%.

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick have set $53 million as a target for a new transportation funding mechanism. When we asked the State Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) for a rough estimate of the revenue that could be generated by these income tax options, LRO indicated that the “$125,000 and up” option would likely raise an amount in the $50-$55 million range and the option including an 0.25% rate on incomes under $100,000 would likely raise an amount in the $60-$65 million range.

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick have called for a transportation funding mechanism that splits the responsibility for new revenue between businesses and residents. Therefore, if the working group recommends and the City moves forward with one of the income tax options, the rates outlined above will likely be halved to yield the goal amount from residential payers. In that case, the first option above would be adjusted to become an income tax of 1/8 of 1% on incomes below $100,000, ½ of 1% on income between $100,000 and $250,000, 1% on income between $250,000 and $500,000, and 1.5% on income above $500,000. The second option would be adjusted to an income tax of ½ of 1% on income between $125,000 and $250,000, 1% on income between $250,000 and $500,000, and 1.5% on income above $500,000.

LRO used Oregon taxable income (not gross income) as the basis for its rough estimates. LRO said that a couple making $60,000 in gross income, with a typical amount of deductions, would likely pay about $50 a year – or slightly over $4 a month – under an income tax rate of 1/8 of 1%.

Novick said that he expected the working groups to take the information - as well as previous surveys - into account as they work to develop modifications or alternatives to the transportation user fee Mayor Hales and Novick had proposed. "One message I take from the survey is that a sales tax is unacceptable to such a large percentage of Portlanders that we can safely say that's off the table," Novick said.

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