Willy Week picks up anti-library chant
Portland's middle weekly today sets out the official Portland City Hall case against a Multnomah County library taxing district, here. "It will hurt the children!" Straight from the mouth of their hero, city commissioner Legend Saltzman. On the front page, no less.
They're running cover for Farquaad Cogen, Saltzman spawn and county chair, who'd rather not put the library district up for a vote, but who will catch a boatload of grief if he doesn't.
In the meantime, the following is supposed to get you to not want the library district. It's what the crazy Oregon phenomenon called property tax "compression" takes away from various government agencies. The argument is that the library district will make "compression" even worse. We like the library, but we can't say the same for these birds:
Port of Portland
Taxes expected: $9.9 million
Lost to compression: $162,223
Taxes expected: $12.3 million
Lost to compression: $223,065
East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
Taxes expected: $4 million
Lost to compression: $146,205
Taxes expected: $249.9 million
Lost to compression: $9.8 million
City of Portland Permanent Rate
Taxes expected: $211.8 million
Lost to compression: $10.3 million
Portland Urban Renewal Special Levy
Taxes expected: $14.9 million
Lost to compression: $736,226
Portland Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund Levy
Taxes expected: $114.2 million
Lost to compression: $5.6 million
Portland Urban Renewal Division of Tax
Taxes expected: $106.4 million
Lost to compression: $9.7 million
Taxes expected: $51.7 million
Lost to compression: $16.8 million
Historical Society Levy
Taxes expected: $2.9 million
Lost to compression: $954,716
Portland Children’s Levy
Taxes expected: $18.8 million
Lost to compression: $7.6 million
Anything that takes property tax revenues away from the Portland Development Commission is a hit in our book.
The louder the argument against the taxing district, the more we like it. Saltzman can cry his crocodile tears "for the children," but all he'd have to do if there were a library district would be to change the city's policies to stop enriching real estate tycoons -- like himself. If it comes down to the PDC or the library, most Portlanders want the library.
If the library taxing district doesn't get on the ballot in November, eventually it will. Library supporters, who clearly represent the majority of county residents, would need to craft another ballot measure that flat out creates the district, rather than handing it to the politicians to decide. That's what they should have done the first time around in 2010, anyway. They told voters they were getting the politicians out of the funding process, but as we pointed out here, that argument was simply a lie. It was one of several told in the first campaign on this question.
There is going to be a library taxing district sooner or later. Saltzman, master architect of the decline and fall of Portland, needs to get used to it.