AGENDA: School board considers apartment tax exemptions

The Salem-Keizer School Board will consider exempting two planned downtown Salem apartment developments from property taxes at a meeting Tuesday night.

The board will also meet in executive session ahead of the meeting to evaluate the performance of Superintendent Christy Perry. Executive sessions are not open to the public.

The board will vote on an exemption for City Center Apartments, a 157-unit planned building at the site of the former Nordstrom store at 420 Center St. N.E. Developer DD Salem Center Two, LLC applied for the exemption, which the city council approved in November 2021.

Board members will also vote on an exemption request from SAMAX, LLC, which is developing two downtown rental units and rehabilitating commercial space in the 200 block of Commercial St. S.E. The council approved that exemption in December 2021.

If approved, the resolutions would exempt the developments from property taxes for up to 10 years. The properties are located in a Salem urban renewal district, a special taxing district which collects property taxes over a set valuation and uses them for urban renewal projects. Because of that, the school district won’t lose any tax revenue if they approve the exemptions.

The school board has generally approved property tax exemptions on request from the city. In December, the board for the first time voted against a tax exemption requested by the city for a housing development at 990 Broadway St N.E., with a majority of board members saying they didn’t believe the exemption would support more affordable housing in Salem.

The board will consider a proclamation for Black History Month. District administrators will provide updates on student mental health, middle school academic achievement, plans for federal Covid relief spending to help students catch up academically and the budget committee appointment schedule.

To participate: The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 and is held virtually. Members of the public may submit written public comment or sign up to speak live during the meeting until 4 p.m. Monday using this link.

The meeting will be livestreamed on YouTube using the links below, and on CC:Media, channel 21.

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hpJJuN64mU

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NYGpaa-LAY 

-Rachel Alexander