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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Here comes a Portland arts-in-the-schools tax

A reader writes:

First, let me offer my condolences at your recent political defeat. It would have been marvelous to have a mayor with common sense!

Second, I got a call from a public opinion poll tonight (obviously not a local outfit…the poor lady kept stumbling over "Will…uh…mat?"). The subject of the poll was whether I would be likely/unlikely to vote for a city-wide income tax to support art and music in the public schools (didn’t say if it was only Portland Public or if it included David Douglas & Parkrose as well). It would be $35/year, and low-income residents would not be required to pay it. (There was also a mention of an opt-out clause…?) The fund might also be tapped to pay for sports, but that was unclear at this time.

The truly scary part of this poll came when she asked how I would feel if the City Council simply passed a resolution mandating the income tax (although at that point I suppose it would be considered a "fee").

When I heard of the latest proposed budget cuts at PPS, my first thought was, "When’s the next tax levy vote?" Well, here it is.

Thanks for keeping us informed (and at times entertained as well!).

Comments (6)

FYI, city-wide also includes Centennial and Reynolds students.

My first thoughts are, what authority does CoP have to mandate a tax on behalf of PPS?

Second, based on fact and a subsequent pending lawsuit, what would give the taxpayer any faith that the funds wouldn't get skimmed by the city for its own purposes?

Third, watch them go ahead and do this anyways and claim the survey said it's what the people wanted.

Until Oregon State Police or US Marshalls knock down the door, Portland officials do whatever they please.

This is getting really tiring- make the public cough up extra dough for the stuff they really want and use normal public funds for pork and propaganda.

Just you wait.

1. You'll vote for arts and sports.

2. Teacher's union smells the chum and threatens to strike without raises.

3. Carole Smith & Co. cave into teachers but trumpet a "major concession" by teachers on something insignificant.

4. BoJack reports that the tax didn't collect as much as promised.

5. Five percent of teachers are fired, and the other 95 percent get a raise. Arts programs get cancelled. Sport programs are cut. Lincoln gets a new football field.

6. Wipe hands on pants. Repeat for another 40 years.

I got called and polled a couple of months ago about taxes for poor and disabled kids. Did I support it or not. The questions were so presumptive that I put a stop to it "would I pay more tax if it were to go to poor and disabled children" Highly agree, sort of agree, agree,...strongly disagree, etc. etc.

I told the pollster that this wasn't a legitimate poll because to disagree was to make it sound like you hated poor and disabled kids.

No question of whether this would impact spending priorities like, "would I rather spend the money on poor and disabled children rather than idiotic bike rental subsidies" Strongly Agree.

The new paradigm for local governments is to cut essential services first. That way you can appeal to voters for more money for teachers, firemen and cops. Meanwhile the Office of Equity and other non-sensical bureaus continue to be funded. (Please note that I do not favor "inequity" because I don't think we need an office for it. Make it a policy to treat all folks the same and enforce it through existing Human Resources Departments the way the rest of the world does it.)

But CoP needs all these non-sensical bureaus so it can have somewhere to put all the "yes" people.

It's an old corrupt regime trick.

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