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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Portland school, library taxes way ahead in new poll

And the head tax for the arts is supposedly neck and neck, with 58% of those polled still undecided on that one. You've got to scroll down past the mayoral malarkey, but the poll results are here.

Comments (13)

Is there any organized effort to defeat the Artsie Head Tax ?

I've noticed when polls have undecideds this high so close to the actual election, they're not worth much. Not that it will necessarily make much of a difference but The Oregonian recommended a NO vote on the library district. That's a first for library measures.

Large undecided percentages on the library Large undecided percentages on the Library and PPS measures. Enough to swing it either way. Knowing how Portlanders like to spend other people’s money I’m not holding out hope though that these will be defeated. Maybe when the property tax bills arrive in the next few days people will have a change of heart.

I'm normally a huge supporter of public libraries, but I've grown really weary of having the public library system used as a hostage and ransoms demanded to keep it functioning as it should.

There is a tendency here to grab the nearest most fragile sacred cow and threaten it to get more funding that then be shuffled around to do things like more bicycles mounted on telephone poles.

I suspect that if a new taxing district for public libraries, we might lose that perpetual hostage threat, but we'll create a whole new public fund playground for the politicos and their local handlers to corrupt. If it happens, I sure hope they walk away from the Multnomah County tax revenues with a health chunk....but watch who gets placed on the 'board' (or whatever governance) and who becomes the executive administrators.

I'm voting against...

The point of the library district is to make the money a separate pot that the county/city can't use for something else. This should solve the holding the library hostage issue.

If somehow they find a way to steal the money after the district is formed we can deal with it then, but I think this is a good idea.

It is the only tax I am going to vote for.

Michael: If you fund the Library out of a separate pot, you insure more general fund money will be available for other projects.

Heh...Yeah, I can see it now...closing existing libraries so they can be moved into the new library facilities built along mass transit routes and with three stories of cr-apartments above, all built with the new slush fund at Multnomah County Library taxing district.

No parking at all, of course.

dhughes has it right. Boiled down, the Library district on whole is a tax increase. It isn't a division of the general pot, but a creation of a new tax leaving a larger pie of general fund dollars for other projects. It's that simple.

And the oversight of libraries is even more diminished. They automatically get their money and the automatic annual increases afforded by the 3% property tax increases allowed and even more when property tax values increase.

Most of the new district would replace the existing levy, so that money doesn't go back to the general fund. Then on top of that the district causes "tax compression" which actually reduces money going to many different pots.

See: http://bojack.org/2012/08/willy_week_picks_up_antilibrar.html

and

http://bojack.org/2012/08/government_a_la_carte.html

Unfortunately all 3 of the big Portland tax measures are going to pass. That's the ultimate statement of the stupidity, ignorance, and blind faith the progressive masses in the People's Republic have for their valued leaders.

While the actual piece of paper won't hit your mailbox for a week or two, you can see your 2012 property taxes today at this link.

Now add a whole bunch more on top of that for next November 15th and have a coronary.

This is the direction the Portland Parks Bureau is hoping to go, too.

In the fall of 2006, when the Parks Bureau was busy attempting to sell off another chunk of Mt. Tabor Park for private development, the community stopped the sale. Through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) many documents regarding parks were reviewed. I recalled reading about park districts, so today went back to the file boxes and here is this document from March 10, 2006:

Park District Feasibility Analysis by Parametrix.
Cc'd to Zari Santner and Robin Grimwade.

"Parametrix has been hired by Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) to conduct an initial assessment of the feasibility of establishing a separate parks district...Districts are the fastest growing form of government in the US. Many attributes of the district model make it attractive to city governments... the district model could potentially offer greater control over administrative costs and services and eliminate competition for General Fund revenue with police and fire services."

If the library district passes, then Parks will take that as a green light to go for a district as well. In the offing is the transfer or sale of the Mt. Tabor Park reservoirs by the Water Bureau. The Water Bureau will want to be paid handsomely. Expect Parks to threaten the loss of these historic properties without the dedicated funds a park district would provide. The private developers will be salivating over the new, best view property in the city!

Last time the reservoirs were going to be covered over with cement, the Parks Bureau spent several hundred thousand dollars on designing what amounted to an amusement park on top of the reservoirs.

This next chapter is about to unfold and I expect the community will be threatened with condos, when Parks can't afford to purchase the "new land." So we should feel lucky if it only becomes an amusement park.

So here's the question, why does the taxpayer have to purchase public property that already belongs to the public?

During the fight from 2006-2009 to save Mt. Tabor Park from once again being parceled off - think 1990 and the retirement community built on top of Mt. Tabor Park's Reservoir #2 - many hours were dedicated to determining how the publicly owned Park and Water Bureau lands were deeded - restrictions, covenants...Pretty good reading with a fair amount of corruption even then!

Parks is the largest real estate management company in the city. The city likes to say all city properties belong to the city and not specific bureaus. From what many historic deeds and records of sale state, that's simply not true. Yet, today it's hardly a consideration that many of these properties were deeded in perpetuity to the residents of the city for stated purposes, and that bureaus act foremost as stewards rather than hucksters.


Lexus,

Thanks for the link! It is nice to see my taxes are going down again this year. (They are down to just above the 2006 taxes.)

While I am in Portland I am not in the PPS district, so I don't get the extra taxes for that, nor a chance to vote down their spending.

There are a couple of campaigns out there against the school measure. This site is from the people who had the Op Ed in the Oregonian on Monday. The Op Ed is on the site.

http://www.restoreeducationbeforebuildings.com/

The second is the billboard campaign by Oregon Transformation.

The Anti Arts Tax campaign, noheadtax.com has an assessed value calculator to figure your bill if these three measures pass.

http://www.noheadtax.com/tax-calculator/




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