7.02.875 Downtown Business Incentive Credit.

City Code Section

(Added by Ordinance 191451; amended by Ordinance 191644, effective February 28, 2024.)

  1. A. Businesses eligible for the Downtown Business Incentive Credit:
    1. 1. A business located within the Central City may be eligible for a Downtown Business Incentive (DBI) credit against its Business License Tax (BLT) due.

      2. For purposes of this credit, the Central City is that area within the boundaries, and the tax lots abutting those boundaries, described below:

      The Central City is that area within the boundaries established by the I-405 Fwy, from the Fremont Bridge to N Stanton St; the I-5 Fwy, from N Stanton to a point due west of NE Schuyler St; NE Schuyler St, from a point due west on the I-5 Fwy (through tax lots) to NE 16th Ave; NE 16th Ave, from NE Schuyler St to NE Multnomah St; NE 16th Dr from NE Multnomah St to NE 12th Ave; NE 12th Ave, from NE 16th Dr to the railroad right-of-way; the railroad right of way, from SE 12th Ave to SE Powell Blvd; SE Powell Blvd, from the railroad right-of-way to the Willamette River on the Ross Island Bridge; the Willamette River, from the Ross Island Bridge to a point due east of S Hamilton Ct; S Hamilton Ct; from a point due east to S Macadam Ave; S Macadam Ave, from S Hamilton Ct to a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R247833; tax lot R247833 boundary, from S Macadam Ave to the I-5 Fwy; the I-5 Fwy, from a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R247833 to the I-405 Fwy; the I-405 Fwy, from the I-5 Fwy to the Sunset Hwy; the Sunset Hwy, from the I-405 Fwy to a point in line with the west edge of tax lot R213476; following and intersecting tax lots (R213476, R213477, R213483, R213481, R213486, R128326, R128324, R499778), from the west edge of tax lot R213476 to SW 21st Ave; SW 21st Ave, from SW Market Street Dr to a point in line with the north edge of tax lot R238620; following and intersecting tax lots (R238620, R238619, R238618, R128349, R123869, R128350, R326772), from the north edge of tax lot R238620 to SW Vista Ave; SW Vista Ave, from a point in line with the south edge of tax lot R326772 to the south edge of tax lot R107412; following and intersecting tax lots (R107412, R107411, R107408, R107409, R623631, R623633, R105821, R105820, R105814, R105819, R105797), from SW Vista Ave to SW 20th Ave; SW 20th Ave, from the northern edge of tax lot R105797 to the southern edge of tax lot R541677; following tax lot R541677, from SW 20th Ave to SW Main St; SW Main St from the western edge of tax lot R541677 to the western edge of tax lot R105807; following tax lots (R105807, R105808), from SW Main St to SW Salmon St; SW Salmon St from the west edge of tax lot R105808 to SW 21st Ave; SW 21st Ave, from SW Salmon St to SW Taylor St; SW Taylor St from SW 21st Ave to the west edge of tax lot R316760; following tax lot R316760, from SW Taylor St to SW Yamhill St; SW Yamhill St from the west edge of R316760 to SW King Ave; SW King Ave, from SW Yamhill St to the south edge of tax lot R193332; following tax lots (R193332, R193339, R193338, R193337), from SW King Ave to SW St Clair Ave; following and intersecting tax lots (R193348, R193349), from SW St Clair Ave to SW Green Ave; SW Green Ave, from SW Vista Ave to SW Osage St; SW Osage St, from SW Green Ave to W Burnside St; W Burnside St, from SW Osage St to a point intersecting tax lot R577748; intersecting tax lot R577748, from W Burnside St to NW Westover Rd; NW Westover Rd, from NW Flanders St to NW 23rd Ave; NW 23rd Ave, from NW Westover Rd to the south edge of tax lot R277713; following tax lots (R277713, R277708, R277700, R198696), from NW 23rd Ave to NW 22nd Ave; NW 22nd Ave, from the north edge of tax lot R198696 to the south edge of tax lot R198679; following tax lots (R198679, R143138), from NW 22nd Ave to NW King Ave; NW King Ave, from the south edge of tax lot R143138 to the south edge of tax lot R143133; following tax lot R143133 from NW King Ave to the west edge of tax lot R198678; following tax lot R198678, from the south edge of tax lot R143133 to NW Davis St; NW Davis St, from the west edge of tax lot R198678 to NW 21st Ave; NW 21st Ave, from NW Davis St to the south edge of tax lot R198673; following tax lots (R198673, R198670), from NW 21st Ave to NW 20th Pl; NW 20th Pl, from the north edge of tax lot R198670 to the south edge of R198664; following tax lot R198660, from NW 20th Pl to NW 20th Ave; NW 20th Ave, from the north edge of tax lot R198660 to the north edge of tax lot R141193; following tax lots (R141193, R141205, R198657, R198658, R198656, R141206), from NW 20th Ave to NW Trinity Pl; NW Trinity Pl, from the south edge of tax lot R141206 to the south edge of tax lot R141200; following and intersecting tax lots (R141200, R141198), from NW Trinity Pl to NW 19th Ave; NW 19th Ave, from the intersection point through tax lot R141198 to NW Couch St; NW Couch St, from NW 19th Ave to NW 18th Ave; NW 18th Ave, from NW Couch St to the south edge of tax lot R140866; following tax lots (R140866, R592298), from NW 18th Ave to NW Couch St; NW Couch St, from the east edge of tax lot R592298 to the I-405 Fwy; the I-405 Fwy, from NW Couch St to the Fremont Bridge; the Fremont Bridge from the I-405 Fwy to NW Front Ave; NW Front Ave, from the Fremont Bridge to just south of tax lot R298562; intersecting tax lots (R298517, R298565), from NW Front Ave to NW 17th Ave; railroad right-of-way, from NW 17th Ave to the north edge of tax lot R269769; following tax lots (R269769, R269771), from the railroad right-of-way to the Willamette River; the Willamette River from the point in line with the north edge of tax lot R269771 to the Fremont Bridge. 

    2. 3. Criteria for qualifying for, calculating, and claiming the credit are in Subsections D., E., and F.
  2. B. A one-time DBI credit is available in either calendar year 2023 or 2024, but not both. If the year of origination is 2023, the credit will be calculated on the tax year 2023 BLT return. If the year of origination is 2024, the credit will be on the tax year 2024 BLT return. The credit is divided and taken equally over four years beginning with the tax year of origination. The one fourth of the credit allowed in each tax year cannot exceed the amount of tax owed in the year. There is no carryover of any unused credit and the credit is nonrefundable.
  3. C. Pre-return application for the credit:
    1. 1. A BLT taxpayer that qualifies for a DBI credit under Subsection D. must apply to the Revenue Division for preapproval of the credit amount the taxpayer may claim.
    2. 2. The total amount of credits the Revenue Division can approve for all taxpayers is limited to $25 million over the two years of the program. In the event that the total amount of the credits claimed exceeds this limit, the Revenue Division will reduce the amount of the credit each qualifying BLT taxpayer may claim on a pro rata basis. 
  4. D. Qualifying for the credit:
  5. A BLT taxpayer is eligible for the credit if it meets each of criteria in Subsections 3. through 5. as applicable plus either criterion in Subsections 1. or 2.
    1. 1. The taxpayer enters into a new lease, or extends a current lease, during the 2023 or 2024 calendar year for building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries for a period of four years or more; or
    2. 2. The taxpayer owns and occupies that building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries; and
    3. 3. The taxpayer maintains at least 15 employees with each employee working at least half their time in the leased or owned building space within the eligible sub-district boundaries over the four year period. The taxpayer must file/provide an attestation for each tax year that they claim the credit.
    4. 4. If leased building space, a lease/extension entered into in 2023 may be used to calculate the credit on either the 2023 or 2024 BLT return. The year of origination will be 2023 if calculated on the 2023 BLT return or 2024 if calculated on the 2024 BLT return. Building space owned during 2023 can also be used to calculate the credit on either the 2023 or 2024 BLT return.
    5. 5. If leased building space, an extended lease must be extended from the end date of an existing lease.
  6. E. Calculating the credit:
  7. The maximum credit is $250,000 in the year of origination, limited to the lesser of:
    1. 1. 100 percent of “City of Portland Business License Tax” as shown on the BLT return, Section IV, in the year of origination; or
    2. 2. 1 percent of “income subject to tax” as shown on the BLT return, Section IV, in the year of origination; or
    3. 3. $30 per square footage of building space covered in the lease/extension or building space used by a building owner’s staff.
    4. 4. The amount approved or adjusted by application of Subsection C.
  8. F. Claiming the credit:
  9. The credit calculated in Subsection E. is divided by four, with 1/4 of the credit claimed on the BLT return in the year of origination and 1/4 claimed on the BLT return for each of the succeeding consecutive three years.
    1. 1. The portion of the credit claimed, in each of the four years the credit is claimed, cannot exceed the “City of Portland Business License Tax” amount in Section IV of the BLT return for that year.
    2. 2. If the portion of the credit allowed for one of the years exceeds the “City of Portland Business License Tax” amount in Section IV of the BLT return for that year, it cannot be carried or used on the BLT return for another year.
  10. G. If a taxpayer breaks the lease/extension prior to the end of the lease/extension period, sells the building sold before the four-year period of the credit, or fails to meet the requirements of Subsection D.3. above during the four-year period of the credit, the entire credit previously claimed must be repaid with statutory interest under Section 7.02.710. No penalty will apply to the tax due related to the lost credit.
  11. H. The Director may adopt rules, written policies, forms, and procedures in its administration of this Section as provided by Portland City Code Section 7.02.210.

Upcoming and Recent Changes

Ordinance 191644

Effective Date

Ordinance 191451

Effective Date