August Membership Meeting Recap

Gateway businesses kicked off our August 9th membership meeting with a presentation by our meeting sponsor, Advantage Gateway Funeral & Cremation Services. Director Chris Allen emphasized that he wanted the location to be a community space where people came together to celebrate life. Originally from East Portland, Chris worked as a grave digger, where he was inspired to help families through funeral services. Jonathan Frochtzwajg of Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington then presented a grant opportunity impacting the Gateway district. His organization is applying for a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to empower youth in Gateway to create still life art pieces about their experiences growing up. After collecting feedback from Gateway businesses, Jonathan emphasized that he would continue to engage the association regarding the project. Finally, Liz Mahon of the Portland Bureau of Transportation updated members on the status of the Halsey/Weidler Streetscape project, scheduled to break ground near the end of August. A protected bike lane is being added adjacent to the southern curb of Halsey – however, both traffic lanes will be preserved. A number of crosswalks are being added to ensure pedestrian safety, especially with the addition of Gateway Discovery Park. See Liz’s full presentation here....

Proposed Business License Tax Increase

  Mayor Wheeler’s proposed budget includes an increase in the Business License Tax (going from 2.2 percent of a businesses’ net income to 2.6 percent). It also includes, as an offset, a 21% increase in the Owners Compensation Deduction (going from $103,500 to $125,000). Impact to Your Business The proposed tax increase is .004 (or an additional $4 per $1,000 in taxes paid). The City created a calculator to determine how the proposed changes will impact your business. A few example scenarios: $100,000 Net Income: Sole Proprietor would pay $650 $200,000 Net Income: Sole Proprietor would pay $1,950 $500,000 Net Income: Sole Proprietor would pay $9,750 Owners Compensation Deduction The Owners Compensation Deduction currently allows business owners to deduct 75% of their net income, not to exceed $103,500 per owner, when filing their taxes. When the Owners Compensation Deduction had its last meaningful increase in 2014 (going from $92,000 to $100,000), the city estimated that more than 4,000 businesses would save $865,000 the year it went into effect. Please note, businesses grossing under $50,000 per year before expenses are exempt from paying the Business License Tax. For nonexempt businesses, the Owners Compensation Deduction allows them to deduct a portion of their net income pre-tax. Proposed Use of Tax Increase The Mayor expects the increased tax to generate $15 million/year. Per the Mayor’s proposed budget: “These changes [Business License Tax increase] would result in an estimated $15.3 million in additional revenues this year [7/1/18-6/30/19] to stabilize the budget for homeless services, invest more in moving people out of shelters and into housing, fund programs in the Police Bureau that support community-centered...

Design Overlay Zones Amendments Projects Feedback

  The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is seeking feedback on the Design Overlay Zones Amendments (DOZA) project. The DOZA Process projects would allow smaller projects in Gateway to use Community Design Standards as alternative to a design review The quality of building design matters for a growing city. And the rules and processes to ensure good, human-centered design for our most populated, growing and vibrant places is important for the entire community. So, these rules need to be evaluated and updated periodically. The Design Overlay Zones Amendments projects — DOZA Process and DOZA Tools — do just that; they hit the reset button on the rules for Portland’s Design overlay zone (the d-overlay) and design review program. The DOZA Process Discussion Draft is now ready for review; a DOZA Tools Concept Report will be released in early May 2018. Learn more and read the DOZA Process Discussion Draft here. Comments due June 1,...
Meeting Recap: Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Meeting Recap: Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

The Gateway Area Business Association started 2018 by hosting two luncheons with Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Mayor Ted Wheeler. Commissioner Chloe Eudaly joined us on January 11th. She began her remarks by highlighting her past as a former business owner and addressed the need for affordable  housing and commercial space in Portland. She then took questions from the audience, which included addressing Airbnb’s impact on housing availability and livability issues. At this meeting, Hospitality Committee Chair Karen Montez awarded the Citizen of the Year award to Linda Robinson of Friends of Gateway Green.  “I’ve never seen such a dedication to community, to neighborhoods, to involvement, to improvement of everything we have here, be it business, residential, parks” said Karen Montez regarding Linda Robinson. Mayor Ted Wheeler attended our luncheon on February. The Mayor spoke to the coordinated approach outlined in the Gateway Action Plan to focus investments on three key areas in the district: the Halsey/Weidler corridor ($20 million), Gateway Transit Center ($8 million) and Central Gateway ($2 million). There is an opportunity fund of $5 million with no geographic boundary. The Mayor answered questions regarding crime & livability support in the district, traffic concerns and regulations on cannabis businesses. The full text of Mayor Wheeler’s opening remarks can be found...