Council discusses expansion of tax rebate program

A request from the new owners of the former McDonald's restaurant building prompted Hillsboro City Council members to consider making changes to the city's neighborhood revitalization program.

City officials discussed options for including D Street in the rebate program during the Jan. 22 meeting.

Mayor Delores Dalke said she hadn't noticed the deterioration on D Street until city administrator Larry Paine had suggested including the entire length of D Street in the city's revitalization district.

"Redoing that corridor is important," Dalke said. She also wanted the council to consider older residential areas.

Other areas that were discussed were parts of Birch, Cedar, Grant, Third, Madison, and Ash streets.

Currently there are specific areas in the city designated in the program which allows a tax rebate for property owners who build new structures or make other improvements.

Even though some council members were not pleased that the new McDonald's building owners were expecting the city to fulfill their request, revitalization is important.

"Bottom line is we would like to have a restaurant there," councilman Bob Watson said, "and if this incentive helps it to happen, then so be it."

Dalke said the new owners will have to pay property taxes on the current property if D Street is added to the rebate program. She also noted that when McDonald's was in operation, it paid $1 million per year in sales tax and having another retail business at that location will help pay for the city's pool.

Designating D Street also may encourage improvement at the former Prime Time convenience store.

Paine was instructed to present a map with proposed areas for the council to consider.

About the program

Property owners within the designated neighborhood revitalization district could receive a 90 percent rebate of property taxes if they invest in improvements and/or new construction.

Residential property owners must spend a minimum of $5,000 and commercial property owners a minimum of $15,000.

If the county appraiser's officer determines the improvements and/or new construction results in an increase in property value, the property owner is reimbursed 90 percent of the increased property tax amount for 10 years.

Sometimes maintenance improvements are made on properties but the investment does not increase the property value which does not qualify for a rebate.