Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Now that the short-lived summer weather is fading, we have a wonderful opportunity to catch up! I hope that you will join me at an upcoming Town Hall to recap the 2011 Session, discuss the upcoming 2012 Session, and talk about community issues that matter to you.
When: Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Historic Kenton Firehouse
8105 N. Brandon Ave., Portland, OR 97217 (map)
For more information, call or email my legislative assistant, Michelle Rogelstad, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 286-0558 (district).
A few of you have written to me about changes to the Senior Property Tax Deferral Program. This is a state program where the state pays the property taxes for qualified applicants and then is paid back the money when the property is sold. This program is designed to be self-funding, with the repayment of deferred taxes covering the cost of the overall program. Because of the housing slump, many seniors cannot sell their homes. This has sharply reduced the revenue flowing into the program, leading to a projected $19 million hole for the 2011-2013 biennium. In order for the program to be viable for the long term, a return to more normal housing market conditions is needed.
In the meantime, in order to keep the program sustainable during these difficult times, the Legislature approved changes to the program that limit eligibility, particularly if a homeowner's application involves a reverse mortgage. To view the changes to the Senior Property Tax Deferral Program, please visit the Department of Revenue's website addressing the changes, which you may view here.
I am interested in hearing from you if the changes in the program affect you. The Legislature will continue to review the effects of the changes and consider any possible modifications.
This evening the Oregon Foreclosure Response Project and Economic Fairness Oregon are hosting a community meeting in St. Johns about foreclosure. Please join your neighbors, consumer rights advocates, and foreclosure experts for an informational and community-building meeting.
What: Community Meeting on Fighting Foreclosure
When: Today, Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Where: St. Johns Community Center
8427 N. Central St., Portland, OR 97203 (map)
In February of this year, a 3rd-grade James John Elementary School student was hit by a car while walking to school. Amazingly, he survived this tragic accident, but he suffered extensive external injuries to his face. As a result, the elementary school and PTA are coordinating a Walk-a-Thon to raise funds for his reconstructive surgeries and costly medical bills and to raise awareness about pedestrian safety. Partners of the Walk-a-Thon include Safe Routes to Schools, the Portland Police and the Portland Fire Department. Making St. Johns a safe place for everyone to walk and bike safely to school and local commerce is important for the vitality of our community.
What: James John Elementary School Walk-a-Thon
When: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 9:30am
Where: James John Elementary School
7439 N. Charleston Ave., Portland, OR 97203 (map)
To make a donation to the students' medical bills, please send a check made payable to James John PTA, 7439 N. Charleston Ave., Portland, OR 97203 and the PTA will mail you a tax-deductible receipt. For more information, please contact Katie Selby, PTA Secretary, at (503) 756-8436.
As always, it's an honor to serve you and our community in the Oregon Legislature. Please keep in touch.