Ear to the Ground
Ear to the Ground
Our attorney contributors share relevant and timely insight into real estate, energy law, water law, and environmental issues.
Blog
The Skyscrapers of the Future Will Be Made of Wood
Blog
In Defense of Public Transit
SIGNUP RSS

Is Property Tax Reform Coming to Oregon?

As our state faces a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers are considering a number of ways to raise taxes to bridge the gap. One current proposal asks Oregonians to reconsider Measure 50, their 1990s-era property tax revolt. Senate Joint…
Read More

One of the Ways in Which Portland is Not Like Los Angeles

I recently attended the American Bar Association's 35th Annual Water Law Conference in Los Angeles. On opening day, we toured parts of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Project. As often happens when I visit other cities, I am reminded of how…
Read More

Industrial Land Boom in Portland Still Can't Keep Up With Demand

2016 saw the addition of 2.3 million square feet of new industrial space in the Portland Metro region, slightly less than was added in 2015 but otherwise the largest annual growth since before the Great Recession. But that was not enough to meet…
Read More

A Case Study on the Accuracy of Real Market Values on Tax Statements

In my previous Ear to the Ground post, I discussed real market values and how they can become inaccurate on your tax statement. For this week’s post, I wanted to offer a real-life example of how this discrepancy played out for a client of mine and…
Read More

Is the Real Market Value on Your Tax Statement Accurate?

One of the most common questions asked about property tax in Oregon is whether the assessor's real market value ("RMV") is accurate. The short answer is, probably not. There are two reasons for this. First, Measure 50, passed in Oregon in 1997, has…
Read More

Housecalls Are No Longer a Thing of the Past

If you know what a housecall is, you've dated yourself. If your doctor has ever made a housecall to you, you've really dated yourself. Or maybe not, as housecalls are staging a comeback – recent data shows they can save serious healthcare dollars…
Read More

Gunderson Marine Barge Launch — More than Just a Vessel

Last month, I attended Gunderson Marine's launch of the OneDREAM, an articulated barge built for Harley Marine Services with a capacity of over 80,000 barrels and a length of 428 feet. What struck me most about the whole affair, standing amidst 200…
Read More

Portland Loves Coworking

Portland is already the ninth-largest market in the U.S. for coworking space, and that was before WeWork signed a lease for 30,000 more square feet on the top floor of Pioneer Place in January. The new WeWorks space in Portland joins their other…
Read More

It Doesn’t Take a Weatherman...

Actually, sometimes it does take a weatherman. Or a weatherwoman, as long as he or she is a real meteorologist, with an actual degree in SCIENCE, as Bill Nye the Science Guy might say. A month ago, when record snow was dumping on Portland and across…
Read More

Portland General Electric Wants to Electrify Your Commute

In December 2016, Portland General Electric released its "Transportation Electrification Plan." The objectives outlined in the Plan position PGE as leader among electric utilities in embracing electric transportation. The utility's goals include…
Read More

Downtown Parking Lot Facelift Starts With The Collective

Construction is underway for one of the first of many development projects slated for downtown surface parking lots owned by the Goodman family's Downtown Development Group. Due to open in fall of 2018, The Collective is a 15-story mixed use…
Read More

Mind Your Tail — A Visit to Banfield Pet Hospital's New Corporate Headquarters

At a recent meeting at the new corporate headquarters of Medical Management, Inc. dba Banfield Pet Hospital ("Banfield"), I took some time to admire the beautiful spaces that mark Banfield's showcase new headquarters located in Vancouver, Washington…
Read More

Water, Water Everywhere: Coming Soon to a Legislative Chamber Near You

Water is a real estate issue, a business issue, a taxpayer issue. Whether you're a developer, a farmer, a city manager, a manufacturer, or "just" a taxpayer, I think you’ll be hearing a lot more about water in the next few months. Last summer, The…
Read More

Longview Coal Terminal Follows Footsteps of Other Unsuccessful Fossil Fuel Export Proposals

Opponents of a proposed coal export terminal on the Columbia River in Longview, Washington are celebrating the State of Washington's decision to deny the developer the right to use state-owned aquatic lands. As part of its proposal to export 44…
Read More

Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind

The unusually cold weather in Portland and other parts of the state this winter brought some attention to the area's aging water infrastructure. The Portland Water Bureau normally deals with about 200 broken water mains a year, but the freezing…
Read More

Toxic Air Emissions-Time to Tally

On January 6, I attended a Q&A session by lawyers and technical experts designed to help business entities prepare responses to an information request by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ("DEQ") under the agency's new air toxics program…
Read More

Portland General Electric Plans to Replace Coal with Renewable Energy

Portland General Electric (PGE) will shut down Oregon's only coal-fired power plant in 2020. Recently, PGE filed with the Oregon Public Utility Commission its plan to replace that energy, and to meet the state's revised renewable portfolio standard…
Read More

Five Jaw-Dropping Reasons to Read "Ear to the Ground"

Despite that headline, it's not clickbait. ONE. We are attorneys at Tonkon Torp LLP, a full service business law firm in Portland, Oregon. We have our ears to the ground as to what is going on in the real estate development community in the Pacific…
Read More