Downtown Medford is now an Economic Improvement District

By investing, you become a part of the future of Downtown Medford

Become Part of the Future

Investing Means Something Different Here

By investing, you’re becoming a part of the future of Downtown Medford and supporting the larger Downtown community. Whether you’re a business owner looking to invest in your local community, or you’re a local looking to get involved, there are opportunities for you to be involved in what comes next!

Investing in Downtown Medford means supporting the future of the area and the larger community. The team is seeking passionate individuals and organizations to help shape current and future plans for a brighter future. Whether you’re a business owner or a local resident, there are opportunities for you to get involved in the next steps for downtown. A key next step we identified in our strategic plan and in our work with the Medford 2040 Vision Implementation Committee is completing an Economic Improvement District feasibility study in 2024. An EID as a funding mechanism that would ensure the long term sustainability of our organization and the downtown coalition building, revitalization,  and beautification work we do. The feasibility study is the first step in getting there. 

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FAQ's about the Economic Improvement District

Economic Improvement District

Economic Improvement Districts (“EIDs”) are public-private partnerships in which local property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development, and promotion of their property. EIDs provide a unique and straightforward economic and community development tool for municipalities, developers, and property owners because they allow targeted control, financing, and development of projects without creating an additional financial burden on taxing units. Oregon EIDs were established under ORS 223.114.

Yes! There are over 1,000 EIDs throughout North America, many concentrated in downtown areas. Nearby cities such as Bend, McMinnville, Albany, and Astoria have long-standing and successful EIDs in their downtowns.

Supporting the EID enables the district residents and businesses to receive services above and beyond what the City can provide. The assessments collected go entirely to the district, with the sole focus of improving Downtown. The EID board of directors, made up of a wide variety of property and business owners in the district, make budget decisions which ensures direct accountability for these enhanced services. Lastly, EIDs have a track record of success. Nationally, they have a renewal rate of 99%, and there are studies that show they have a positive effect on property values, sales, and occupancies.

Clean Sweep program unfortunately went away due to funding. DMA is open to help facilitate a quarterly cleaning committee and if the EID were approved and the building owner and/or merchants want this to be a priority.

Contingent would be on why the building is vacant. Parcels that have a vacant building are subject to the assessment. If we determine assessed property owners would benefit from services being provided to the vacant buildings (i.e., clean & safe activities, business advocacy, etc.), the property owners whose land has a vacant building can be assessed.

Zoning, use code, parcel square footage, linear frontage, building square footage. The complexity of the assessment methodology is contingent on the data available to us (i.e., we don’t always have complete building square footage data)

Typically, an EID has a term of 3 years and can be renewed for an additional 3-year term if it receives support. In the event that an EID is not renewed, the City Council has a few options. They can choose to 1) distribute the funds proportionally among property owners, once all EID debts are settled; 2) utilize any excess funds for further economic improvements; or 3) employ a combination of both options.

The City’s finance department will treat each property owner assessment as an account payable and the specific collection process may be at the City’s discretion.

Stakeholder education & support (property owner & City staff/elected); consensus on EID parameters; incomplete data.

Yes it has been attempted but failed to be adopted. 

Depending on the lease agreement the fees could be passed down the business owners. Or the building could choose to put it in the lease cost or absorb it. In any case, the assessment remains the property owner’s responsibility.

The most effective improvements implemented by EIDs include Clean & Safe initiatives, Beautification projects, Marketing & Special Events, and Advocacy/Support from property owners to sustain and renew the EID. The effectiveness of the EID is measured by various factors such as reduction in crime rates, improved cleanliness in downtown areas, increased number of businesses opening, higher visitor footfall, and feedback from property owners.

The feasibility study is expected to be completed within 2-4 months. Following that, a formation process would begin, involving the creation of legal documents that outline the EID parameters, such as assessment methodology, services, budget, and boundary. Property owners would then petition the City to establish the EID. The City would conduct public hearings and pass a formation ordinance if there is no significant protest during the period. The duration of this process can vary, taking approximately 6 months depending on the level of engagement and support. The services offered at each level would be determined based on the level of benefit received.

EID services must beneficial to all assessed property owners proportionately, and parking lots can’t be assessed.

The decision to pass on the difference between a BID and EID to tenants rests with the building owner. While the assessment can be transferred to tenants, it is ultimately the property owner’s obligation, not the tenants’.

EIDs tend to fail for several reasons, including lack of engagement with key constituents, lack of unified direction, insufficient organization, poor leadership.

Yes, the only parcels that are legally exempt are those zoned as parking lots, residential or religious.

The assessment information would be included in the ordinance. During the hearing process, each property owner will be notified of their assessment and it will be further discussed in the Second phase of the process. The first phase involves a feasibility study which includes town halls, education sessions, and more.

Generally, properties owned and occupied by the owner tend to have higher success levels. This can be attributed to the owner’s personal attachment to the area and their willingness to support initiatives. In contrast, investors, who may not have a direct connection to the community, are often harder to reach and may not recognize the immediate need for services.

The assessments may be paid in quarterly-annual payments.

No, only exemptions are for parcels zoned as parking lots, residential or religious. However, the EID can implement their own exemptions if it’s determined these property owners will not benefit from services.

It can be passed down, but it’s the property owner’s responsibility.

There isn’t enough data available on EIDs to provide an average rate. This is a complex question as it relies on the assessment methodology a particular district uses.

On a macro level, by promoting the district as destination and center for commerce, travel, residence, and play. On a micro level, in the same ways that DMA does as a portion of the funds would be directed towards DMAs operations. Community events (M3F), retail campaigns (shop local), education, resources, etc.

Anyone interested in Downtown growth. 

We are proud to have the support of various downtown partners, both public and private, who are invested in the vision of a thriving downtown, including the City of Medford. Your support will play a pivotal role in making this vision a reality by:

  • Validating whether or not an Economic Improvement District (EID) is both the right choice and a possibility for our community
  • Establishing a strong and diverse leadership structure to guide the project as it progresses
  • Engaging with local government and community leaders to secure the necessary resources for the EID
  • Developing a comprehensive funding plan and compelling presentation to share findings and recommendations with the wider community

The Downtown Medford Association (DMA) serves as a non-profit partner for the City, advocating for economic growth and development in Downtown. Through a dedicated board and staff, they aim to create a more vibrant and appealing environment for residents, businesses, and visitors alike.

Your contribution will support a Feasibility Study on an Economic Improvement District initiative to boost the local economy, such as assisting with business growth, promoting economic programs, beautification and informing the community about downtown activities and services.

DMA’s economic development efforts are guided by the city 2040 Visioning Plan, City Council Goals and our Annual Work Plan that is a collaborative effort of the organization’s board of directors.

Investing in Downtown Medford will make a positive impact on many projects and the customers, clients, workers, and residents that are part of our core. We are hopeful you will join this successful effort by supporting Downtown.

Now! DMA is committed to providing critical services that will generate economic value for all area residents. The DMA Board of Directors hopes that you will invest to grow our local economy.

Contribute or contact the DMA office at (541-941-5204) for more information.