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Thursday, January 5, 2006

Question for history buffs

I'm still having fun perusing that church bulletin from 1947 at my parish in southeast Portland. Here's an item that caught my eye:

What's most interesting to me is in that second paragraph -- the part about "seventy-five cents with tax included." Tax? On tickets to a show in a church hall? What kind of tax was that? Maybe one of the old-timers (Isaac?) can fill us in on what that might have been.

Comments (6)

Perhaps it was a sin tax?

I'm just glad to see that the your/you're confusion was afflicting us way back in 1947. I had thought it was a more recent problem.

Is Carvlin Hall part of St. Philips?

It might be a reference to the federal excise tax on admissions to theatres and other performances, 26 USC 4231, sometimes called the "Cabaret Tax," which was repealed by the Federal Excise Tax Reduction Act of 1965. I don't recall if Portland ever imposed an admissions tax. The City of Eugene did, but the state supreme court found it to be beyond the city's power. Eugene Theatre Co. v. City of Eugene, 194 Or 603 (1952).

Carvlin Hall is still the name of the main meeting/event building at the parish. IMHO, the annual spaghetti dinner there is not to be missed. It's usually in November.

It wouldn't be the first time that a "choich" (as Granny used to say) pulled a fast one. I understand that priests at St. Aloysius Church (your church, Down Neck), in the winter, used to ask the congregation at all the masses to put a little extra in the collection plate for "coal to heat the church and school".

I learned, oh so many years later, from a guy who was the PR guy back then for Ballantine's brewery across the street from the church, that Ballantine used to siphon off its excess steam to heat the church and school at no cost.

Coal indeed. :-)
P.S. The irony is that the guy's name was Schaefer.

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