Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 20, 2011 10:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Detective Comics revisited. The next post in this blog is Breaking news: Sam Adams is bad people. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We're no. 1!

Portland's come out on top of a list as the very worst place in the country for discriminatory taxes on travelers. The taxes in question are probably going to pay for the Vera Katz Wing of the Convention Center, which is almost always empty.

Those poor tourists. But according to another study, they should think of it as a value proposition -- they might get lucky while they're here.

Comments (18)

Spring 2011 I had occasion to have to rent a 15 passenger van for a day to transport a group on a tour of some local facilities.

Enterprise has a location about 8 blocks over, on Barbur Blvd., in SW Portland, in Multnomah County. Looked at cost there.

Enterprise has another location about a mile and a half further out Barbur / Pacific Highway in Tigard, Washington County. Looked at cost there.

Exact same vehicle. Huge difference in cost, all of it Portland City and Multnomah County taxes.

Cost is a huge issue for the little 501 c 3 which was paying for the rental for its program.

Easy decision.

Probably an equally easy decision for convention planners who are choosing between the Portland Convention Center and a facility in Orange County, CA., as well.

The study doesn't really quantify the results, i.e., no definitive list of the "discriminatory taxes" that result in the rankings.

Having traveled a bit, virtually every locale has room/occupancy and rental car taxes. BUT, the traveler also gets hit repeatedly on paying sales tax for every purchase. Of course, that is not the case in Oregon.
The survey results may be based on the actual taxing rates for each category, but I'm unsure.

When friends come to Oregon as first-time visitors, they are uniformly shocked at these two realities:
a. we are fobidden to pump our own gas at retail stations
b. we have no state and/or city sales tax.

In The Economist article, Portland and Minneapolis are singled out in the list as cities without great attractors which charge high taxes on tourist / traveler oriented goods and service.

After last Wednesday's farcical vote in City Council, Portland and Minneapolis will both be proud operators of bike share programs.

There has to be a link.

Go figure.

Time Magazine says we're the most over-sexed city in America? I think that calls for a group moan.

Plus, it explains the agenda at the next City Council meeting, where they'll vote on a clothes removal fee.

Yeah, but we don't have a sales tax.

Another huge issue to conventions coming to PDX is the arcane OLCC rules that say that all drinks (even at hosted events) are by the glass and not by bottles and mixers consumed (the way it's done in cities with successful convention business).

I'm not positive this is relevant to OLCC rules now, but here's a story from a while back:
The Bee Gees were staying at a hotel downtown where I worked. I saw one out walking around by the pool, and you could tell everything he was wearing cost major bucks: The swimsuit, the sandals, the white jacket, the hat, the shades, the jewelry. I remember thinking - forget the jewelry - the clothes alone could be a couple of grand. He looked like he was walking around on a very expensive yacht.
Throw in the golden tan, and he was basically screaming, "I'm a giant music star. Deal with it."

Anyway, I heard they ordered a bottle of booze and were shocked at the price. It had to be sold by the drink so it was several hundred bucks, and the Bee Gees were not going for it. They hired someone to go to the liquor store for them and score a bottle at the regular price. Rich as they were, they weren't crazy.

Nonny, you live in my 'hood. Trail tip, if you need to fly out of PDX: Go to Beavertown or Tigard, rent a car, drive out to PDX and drop it there. I usually rent the day before, park at my house, then do the drop-off. So little gas is used that you don't get charged; the tank still reads as "full".

Bill, what's a "Bee Gee"? I thought you might be going all porno on us here, but then you said something about "giant music star".

I always get my hookers in Portland instead of the 'Couv because of the sales tax issue.

John Wins

All I know is that when you rent a car at the PDX airport; the City or County Tax on the rental is one of the highest I've encountered anywhere.

Portland actually has the third lowest total travel tax in the country. That's not saying discriminatory taxes are nice but your total bill will be less in Portland than most any other city.

These rankings magazines do really obfuscate issues. I'm getting tired of them.

Sewohs: Do you work for that money loser of a Convention Center? Or is it some other public financial sinkhole? Try on $22.00 in taxes and fees on a $28.00 a day auto rental from Thrifty
last November...

Oregbear and sewohs have hinted at the points that make the information in this article completely irrelevant, though it is pretty obvious from the language quoted in The Economist.

"[D]iscriminatory travel taxes and fees enacted on travel-related services impose an average increased cost on visitors of 56% over general sales tax."

We have no general sales tax... The study (which I have not purchased and so can not state exactly how their math works) appears to be discussing taxes on travelers that are not imposed on residents. That's all well and good, but has nothing to do with total taxes levied on travelers, or the incredibly important OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: taxes imposed on residents but NOT travelers.

Typically the bloggers at The Economist consider what they're writing about. Not this time.

Also, remember the source:

This is just a lobbyist/propaganda/advocacy group for business travelers. Their research is likely dreadfully biased, and meant to pressure municipalities into removing a particular group of taxes which disturb their constituents. Not credible.

The solution is simple.

Build the damn Convention Center Hotel. Then all will be perfect and good in the world, we'll have conventions just tripping over themselves to come to Portland; the Convention Center will be booked three years in advance and our economy will just be through the roof with all of the economic impact.

Taxes. Sheesh. We all know Oregon is a low-tax state, especially since we don't have a sales tax, and we have so many tax incentives for businesses to come to Oregon - it's foolish NOT to think of Oregon for your next business or convention.

It's okay though - tourists may be taxed the most in Portland, but there isn't that many of them, so the overall burden is quite low!

The answer is clearly to scare away the rest of the tourists by raising taxes further! We're already taxing the crap out of them more than anywhere else, so we don't need to worry about moving up the list even further than #1!

This is exactly what Portland will produce. There is no stopping it.

In about 6 or 7 years Jack will have a blog post like this with the only difference being the names of "stakeholeders" and "partners".

If the convention center were a business, it would be reporting that during 2010 it lost $1,400,000 on revenue of $1,300,000, with operating costs the total of both. The tragedy is that taxpayer dollars seem to be considered somehow different than business dollars.

Meanwhile, the Penn Square Partners keep their revenue figures a closely-guarded secret, even though they are operating rent-free in a taxpayer-owned building. They are paying down a $24 million construction bond for their building, in addition to their initial $11 million “equity” investment to furnish and equip the hotel. The total cost of the hotel building was in excess of $76 million, with taxpayers funding the balance.

That’s not all.

Adding insult to injury, the hotel receives ALL revenue from the third and fourth floor ballroom and meeting rooms, even though these spaces were built and are being maintained by taxpayers. Many events have already been held in the “convention center” where the organizers and attendees had no idea that their money was going directly to the Penn Square Partners.

But wait, there’s more!

100% of the hotel’s kitchen was built and is being maintained by taxpayers, as is the connection between the parking garage and the hotel lobby, half of the hotel lobby (including the piano!), and portions of Interstate Hotels and Resorts’ offices. The public also has total responsibility for both the Queen Street lobby and the Vine Street lobby.

All of these – and much, much more – are a part of the agreements negotiated by Stevens & Lee with the Penn Square Partners on behalf of the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (taxpayers).


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics