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Multnomah County cities compensated in property tax dispute, Gresham unsure how much it will receive

Gresham will be one of many Oregon communities expected to receive a share of payments after the state reached a settlement with Comcast over a long-running property tax dispute.

Comcast agreed to pay an estimated $155 million in back taxes in counties where it operates, while payment amounts and dates are still being calculated. Multnomah County will receive some of the money, alongside Clackamas, Benton, Columbia, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, Washington and Yamhill.

"This is an important tax win for local governments," said Wendy Johnson, tax and finance policy expert for the League of Oregon Cities. "We are pleased with the settlement amount."

The lawsuit that was settled, Comcast Corporation v. Department of Revenue, dated back to 2009. Some of the money had been paid previously, but most will now be paid in a lump sum.

Gresham doesn't know how much it will receive through the payment, with the expectation that it will be announced sometime in July. Gov. Kate Brown, who announced the settlement Monday, June 4, urged local jurisdictions to use the money to pay down Public Employees Retirement Systems (PERS) unfunded liability.

"Having local jurisdictions dedicate funds to paying down their own PERS liabilities will help demonstrate to the Legislature that local governments are taking their fiscal obligations seriously," Brown said in an announcement.

City of Gresham officials do not know what they will do with the money at this point, but the Budget Committee plans to address it.

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