Sunday, November 29, 2020

Fire victims rebuilding face double taxation from school district

Latest articles

K9 ‘Ghost’ to join Sheriff’s ranks

Lincoln County Sheriff's newest operator is K9 Ghost, a two-year-old German Shepherd who is slated to undergo training and certification to join the team in 2021.

High Wind Warning issued by NWS

National Weather Service Portland has issued a High Wind Warning Tuesday from seven a.m. until three p.m. for the Central Oregon Coast.

City seeks to fill multiple volunteer vacancies

The City of Lincoln City needs to fill over 20 vacancies left by outgoing volunteers for various committees and boards.

“Glaring” distinctions divide Congressional candidates

In the last day of what many voters feel is the critical election of their lives, the hotly-contested race in Oregon’s U.S. 5th District is poised on the glaring differences between two Congressional candidates — gutsy challenger Amy Ryan Courser and her six-term opponent, Kurt Schrader.

November 3rd looms closer at last

Whatever your political affiliation and views, the election craze is going to be over in what's now a matter of hours.

Courser claims ag abandoned by Schrader

The suddenly-tight race in the fertile U.S. 5th District could hinge on Oregon family farms and rural communities slammed by pandemic and wildfire, claimed the challenger to a six-term incumbent who has severed his official ties to agriculture.

Courser braces Schrader over law and order stand

Mounting the biggest challenge ever to an entrenched incumbent, Congressional candidate Amy Ryan Courser this week drew a stark battle line between her and six-term representative Kurt Schrader over law enforcement in the U.S. Fifth District.

Lincoln County discusses waiver of fees retroactively for wildfire victims

Lincoln County government met Monday to discuss possibly waiving construction fees for victims of the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire and may do so retroactively to Sept. 8. 

Newport K9 team discovers commercial quantity of meth

Newport Police Officer Hayden Randall and his partner, K9 Nero, were responsible for discovering a commercial quantity of methamphetamine during a routine traffic violation...

NWS issues freeze warning for North, Central Oregon Coast

National Weather Service Portland issued a freeze warning Sunday night for the North and Central Oregon Coasts for 1-10 a.m. Monday.

Most popular

Evacuations in effect for Lincoln City

A level 3 evacuation is in effect for all of Lincoln City from 40th street north. Level 3 means go now.

MYSTERY SOLVED! D.B. Cooper was my friend

He was the soldier who became a skyjacker, the skyjacker who became a priest, and the priest who lived and died in Depoe Bay. He was D.B. Cooper, the most famous fugitive on earth, and he was my friend.

Fire strikes historic Otis Cafe on Independence Day

North Lincoln Fire Rescue units swarmed the Otis Cafe shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday to combat a fully involved fire at the iconic restaurant.

Highway 101 hole prompts ODOT to call in geologists

Oregon Department of Transportation officials have called in geologists Thursday to take core samples of a hole on southbound Highway 101 in Otis.

Lincoln City wildfires update

Lincoln City government issued an update Thursday on wildfires north of the city, saying all evacuation orders are still in effect and residents are not allowed in the area.

An evacuated Lincoln City sits dark and intact

Lincoln City Police were active Wednesday night and were patrolling with spotlights in a town evacuated and once again without power.

School District Excise Tax WIldfire

A tax passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2007 is the subject of controversy as fire victims rebuilding say they are being taxed twice.

SB 1036 allows school districts to charge a Construction Excise Tax against new construction so they can provide capital improvements, such as improving a kitchen at Oceanlake Elementary and Taft Elementary’s roof and building additions.

Douglas Bernhardt, a contractor helping his Otis friend rebuild after he lost his home to the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire, said he applied to Lincoln County for a permit and was told to pay the Construction Excise Tax of nearly $2,000. Bernhardt tried to explain the tax had already been paid by the homeowner and a rebuild was not new construction. Bernhardt said he was referred to multiple State agencies before being told he needed to take it up with the Lincoln County School Board.

Bernhardt went to the latest school board meeting, Oct. 13, and spoke for two minutes asking for an exemption for wildfire victims. Additionally, Bernhardt was instrumental in getting a signed letter from wildfire victims to the Lincoln County School District Board asking for an exemption.

In the meeting agenda, Lincoln County School District staff ask for an increase to the Construction Excise Tax for an additional 10 cents to take effect Jan. 1, 2021. State law allows increases every year for inflation, but it is the school district’s choice to impose them.

In a video of the school board meeting, board members can be heard amid bad audio saying they want to be compassionate toward fire victims but can’t go against the law. One member can be heard saying, “It’s out of our hands.”

Homepage has reached out to Lincoln County School District Board of Directors members for comment and is awaiting a response.

Representative David Gomberg promised immediate action upon hearing about this situation and said he was also working on protecting wildfire victims from higher property taxes that would occur upon rebuilding.

Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall said the board would be discussing this at their next meeting on Monday.

Lincoln County School District’s adopted budget of $128 million shows the Construction Excise Tax is forecast to bring in $480,000 for 2020-21 and raised $656,150.16 in 2018-19 (Page 369).

Bernhardt said in talking with Lincoln County staff, he was advised he would receive a refund if tax paid was waived for victims of wildfires. He would do this so the homeowner “could move on and be done with it.”

The nearly 300 homes lost to wildfire could bring in an estimated $300,000 (Avg. $1,000) in Construction Excise Tax revenue for Lincoln County School District.

Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin is publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and an investigative journalist who finds facts. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press.

RELATED ARTICLES

00:04:44

Volunteers raise spirits, hope amid wildfire ashes

A spirited volunteer cleanup effort is underway in Otis as workers sift through the rubble of destroyed homes left behind by the Echo Mountain Complex Wildfire.

7 COMMENTS

  1. It seems that the school board is hiding behind the law. It’s their County, their School District and their neighbors getting screwed. We may want to remember this the next time they are up for re-election. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. These homes were lost due to the fault of some other entity ie power lines,
    and even needing a building permit is not fair. They’ll “work on it” Sure.
    What does the school system need any money for to begin with? I thought they’re all shut down, and virtual learning is now the staple.
    The county is as greedy as the city(s). I got bad news for everyone with this
    anti-social virtual schooling- your kids will have no social skills, and we are about
    to raise a generation of Michael Myers.
    Isn’t it great your burnt home and life is worth One thousand dollars to the
    school district?

    • I AGREE 100% WITH YOU KEVIN WE HAVE BEEN ROBED BUY THERE HIGH TAXES EVERY YEAR. WHY do they need to robe fire rebuilds of more tax dollars plus everyone else. I believe in education not robbery they want more money every year I believe to pad some pockets especially now with schools shut down should be funded just for teacher pay only I know no some L/C residents that struggle every year just to have the money to pay taxes. CITY taxes are way out of control too plus county building square footage rate is crazy high amount.( were not Portland thank god.)

      • What happened to all the money the schools are to be getting from all the sales taxes imposed on business such as tobacco sales plus lottery dollars many more? Some ones smiling with padded pockets. What happened to the money from our hidden sales tax our not so good gov. Kate snuck in on us OH were not suppost to now about that. Taxes are way out of control some one is happy!!!!!!

  3. Like system development charges for water and sewer, there should be a CET credit on the property. Assuming that the home owner rebuilt quickly that CET credit shouldn’t expire.

  4. Rebuild quickly? What does that mean? If nobody has noticed, with the Otis
    Cafe, or the Crab Shack, rebuilding after a fire seems to take a long time.
    All of these regulations should be rescinded for fire victims, just like they
    rescinded the parameters for disposal of the fire debris.
    Another point- What exactly would the school district have done about
    their “need” for more money WITHOUT the fires? What a windfall.

  5. “Its out of our hands…??”
    Ha! It is their back-door opportunity to get their (double tax) increase!

    This isn’t any home upgrade or improvement. This is replacing one’s home!
    And Otis residents have already paid the initial tax. Asking them to pay again, just so they can get permits to RE-BUILD, IS double taxation and its under-handed and outright
    despicable!
    Lincoln county schools should be ashamed of themselves!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

-Advertisement-

Trending

MYSTERY SOLVED! D.B. Cooper was my friend

He was the soldier who became a skyjacker, the skyjacker who became a priest, and the priest who lived and died in Depoe Bay. He was D.B. Cooper, the most famous fugitive on earth, and he was my friend.

Coast Guard saves two people after Mayday call near Tillamook

Am emergency distress call is likely to credit for saving the lives of two recreational boaters this morning near Netarts Bay, five miles southwest of Tillamook.

Enough with the COVID doom and gloom

I just this minute have had enough of the doom and gloom COVID narrative.

New DMV fees take effect Jan. 1, 2020

New Oregon vehicle registration, title and trip permit fees will take effect Jan. 1, 2020, as part of "Keep Oregon Moving," the biggest transportation investment in state history.

City seeks to fill multiple volunteer vacancies

The City of Lincoln City needs to fill over 20 vacancies left by outgoing volunteers for various committees and boards.

Coast Guard aircrew rescues man stranded on rock near Tillamook

A Coast Guard aircrew hoisted a man who reportedly became stranded on rocks at Cape Lookout State Park near Tillamook, Monday evening.

High Wind Warning issued by NWS

National Weather Service Portland has issued a High Wind Warning Tuesday from seven a.m. until three p.m. for the Central Oregon Coast.

Hiker clinging to rock face rescued via drone by Depoe Bay firefighters

Depoe Bay rescuers used a drone with thermal imaging early Tuesday morning to guide a fallen hiker to safety north of Devils Punchbowl State Park in Otter Rock.

Scout Troop 47 Christmas tree fundraiser

Boy Scout Troop 47 is having a Christmas tree fundraiser at the Lincoln City Cultural Center to pay for the Scout's summer camp.