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Homebuilders Assoc. of Metro. Portland v. Metro

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-13-2012
Case #: A146059
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146059.pdf

Tax Law: Expanding the scope of Metro's construction tax did not make it a new tax subject to the restrictions of SB 1036 or MC 2.19.200 because it was an extension or continuation of the present tax and did not materially alter it.

Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland (HAMP) appealed the lower court's ruling in favor of Metro that a construction tax was implemented correctly under Metro Code (MC) 2.19.200 and did not violate Oregon Senate Bill (SB) 1036. In 2007, SB 1036 restricted the creation of new taxes on building until 2018 in order to use building tax revenue to fund school districts. Metro's argument in the lower court was that expanding the scope of this tax "extended" an existing tax, rather than implemented a new one, and therefore was not restricted by SB 1036 or required the implementation rules of MC 2.19.200. HAMP argued that changing the scope of the tax changed it "materially," and therefore it was effectively a new tax subject to SB 1036 and MC 2.19.200. The Court of Appeals found that changing the scope of the tax was an "extension or continuation" of the present tax and did not materially alter it. Therefore, the lower court correctly found the changed tax was not subject to SB 1036 or MC 2.19.200. Affirmed.