Voters in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties are being asked to approve Measure 26-199 on their ballots for the upcoming November 2018 general election. Here is some basic information about Measure 26-199 that voters can use to help make their decision.
Q: Why is Measure 26-199 being proposed?
A: Housing prices in the Portland metro area have skyrocketed in recent years, creating hardship for our most vulnerable residents.
Q: How did housing become so expensive in the first place?
A: Oregon has unique laws that requires processes for adding more land to housing and restricts where it can be built. The Metro council undertook such a process in November 2015, and voted unanimously to refuse to allow more land to be used for housing. Metro’s council reasoned that the available land “provides sufficient opportunity for near-term development.”
Q: Isn’t Metro the same entity seeking $652.8 million general obligation bonds under Measure 26-199?
Q: What does Measure 26-199 do?
A: It would authorize Metro to issue $652.8 million in general obligation bonds to fund “affordable housing.”
Q: How much will Measure 26-199 cost?
A: According to this article (insert link), borrowing $652.8 million will result in principal and interest payments of over $1 billion.
Q: How does this measure achieve its stated goal of making housing more affordable?
A: The $652.8 million in bonds would be “payable from taxes on property or property ownership.”
Q: Does taxing property or property ownership make housing more affordable?
Q: Does taking anything make it more affordable?
Q: Will it ever?
Q: Would all of the $652.8 million in taxes go towards housing?
Measure 26-199 would allow over $32 million of the $652.8 million to go towards “administrative costs.” It would also allow the property purchased by Metro to go towards “other commercial, office and retail uses” that “may include spaces for grocery.”
Q: Is there a limit to how much money Metro would be able to spend per housing unit under Measure 26-199?
Q: Would Metro be required to increase the supply of housing if Measure 26-199 passes?
Under Measure 26-199, Metro and other government agencies would be able to buy existing housing units and subsidize rents. But Measure 26-199 does not require Metro to increase the overall supply of housing.
Q: Should I vote to support Measure 26-199?
Measure 26-199 is nothing more than Metro’s attempt to get more of our money in the name of solving a problem that it created in the first place. Vote NO on Measure 26-199.