HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The 30-year tax break agreement announced Monday to keep chipmaker Intel in the City of Hillsboro allows Intel to invest $100 billion in semiconductor equipment and facilities.
A multi-billion dollar Intel plant is already under construction at Hillsboro’s Intel campus. Most of the money will be spent on new equipment to manufacture new and advanced products.
With more than 17,000 employees at the Hillsboro campus, Oregon is already home to Intel’s largest research and development site, world wide.
Intel spokesperson Jill Eiland said property tax abatements were crucial in coming up with the agreement.
“The strategic investment program, and the abatements that come with that program are essential to Intel’s decision to locate in Oregon, and to come here first in 1974,” she said.
Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers said the deal guarantees some certainty for economic development in the city and state.
“For many years to come, it means prosperity for our grandchildren [and] our grandchildren’s grandchildren, so we’re excited about the possibility of keeping a major manufacturer of chips in the world in this particular area,” said Rogers.
Economists at ECONorthwest told KOIN 6 News that Intel represents nearly 17% of all jobs in Washington County and has an economic impact to the state of more than $27 billion.
According to numbers obtained from Washington County, Intel will pay $350 million in taxes and fees over the course of the agreement. However, Intel will also get hundreds of millions of dollars in property tax breaks under Oregon’s strategic investment program.
In the most recent fiscal year, those breaks amounted to $120 million – money that won’t be available for county services, including roads and schools.
When asked whether it’s worth giving up potential property taxes in order to get the other benefits, Rogers said, “There are very few areas in the United States who are going to receive this sort of an investment.One hundred billion dollars in a community and in a country is significant.”
Still, before it’s finalized, the agreement must go through the city, the county and the state before it becomes official, and must stand a public hearing in Hillsboro August 26.
The agreement could be put in place as soon as early 2015.