MEDFORD, Ore. – Today Grants Pass City Council approved a 15-year tax abatement for Dutch Bros.
The abatement is a part of the Rogue Enterprise Zone which freezes their current property taxes for the 15-year period. Dutch Bros. will still be required to pay the property tax on the existing structure on Town Center Plaza and the land they own but will not have to pay anything additional for the new structures they build during the abatement period.
The City Council discussed the abatement for nearly three hours. Their main concerns surrounded the parking spaces that would be lost during the construction period and how the lack of space could affect surrounding businesses.
“Those businesses operate on a thin margin,” said council member Tyler Flaming, “It’s possible that a project like this could reduce the amount of customers for some of these businesses downtown to the point of where they may have to close.”
Dutch Bros. said that it is too early in their planning to have a parking solution but that they would be willing and open to working out a parking solution farther down the road.
“We’re in the initial planning phases,” said Dutch Bros. attorney, “we haven’t’ spent a lot of money on architects and we haven’t spent a lot of money trying to really get a sense of what this will look like.”
The application deadline for the abatement is June 30 so council members had to make a decision today.
In a vote of 5 to 1, the abatement passed with the condition that Dutch Bros. work with the city of Grants Pass and Josephine County to mitigate the parking problems downtown, which could include monetary contributions from Dutch Bros.