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Friday, March 1, 2013

Game on! Portland publishes regs on arts tax.

We see that the City of Portland has finally gotten around to promulgating administrative rules administering the haphazard new $35-a-head "income tax" for the arts. They were adopted a week ago Wednesday, and they are posted here. We still think the tax may be prohibited by the Oregon constitution. We're not paying it (except possibly under protest) unless the state supreme court tells us we have to. See you in Salem, opera lovers!

Comments (27)

“Taxfiler” means a resident of the City who is or could be subject to the Tax or the taxfiler’s authorized representative.

I am commencing a study of this particular clause of the regulation. I'll let you know if and when I find a way out of the loop.

Not sure how something becomes an "income" tax when it is not based on income, but on warm bodies. And if it is an income tax it must be one of the most regressive taxes implemented in that the amount is the same if you make a nickel of income or a million dollars.

GEORGE, it is based on income, if you're below poverty level you need not pay it. Therefore your income dose have a part to play.

Jack, when you say you think this tax "may be" prohibited by the Oregon Constitution, rather than that it IS prohibited, does that mean, having read the rules, that you are less sure than you were previously?

So if I just blow it off, what are the ramifications of nonpayment? Anyone?

Read the examples of residency and remember this example set by Mayor Hales. http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-27305-charlie_hales_lived_.html

does that mean, having read the rules, that you are less sure than you were previously?

Not at all. But I do not want not be seen as giving legal advice.

your income dose have a part to play.

I am not going to get into the legal argument here. As they say, "No comment while the case is in litigation."

As a conscientious objector, not knowing whether or not this tax will be used to promote "art" that is blasphemous, offensive and/or otherwise hurtful to an individual or a group, I will not violate my own principles by paying it.

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Get prepared for under Arts Tax, the list could get longer.
Road Tax, Bioswale Tax,
Driveway Tax, Tree Tax, Lawn Tax, etc.

Hello all. I have been following this blog for awhile and haven't felt the need to contribute till this ridiculous "tax" came up. My main complaint (among many) is the justification for residency."You are generally considered a Portland resident (even if you live outside Portland) if you are “domiciled” in Portland. If you think of Portland as your permanent home, the center of your financial, social and family life, and Portland is the place you intend to come back to when you are away, you are considered to be domiciled in Portland. Regardless of where you are domiciled, you are considered a resident of Portland if you spend more than 200 days of the year in Portland unless you can prove that you were in Portland for temporary or transitory purposes." If I think of Portland as my home?? How wishy-washy is that? How do I prove I do NOT think of Portland as my home? My question is how far do any of you think they will take this. Personally I do as little business in Portland as I can, work in Clackamas and live in the Rock Creek zip code which is 12 miles west of Portland bordering Beaverton and Hillsboro. Sadly, my mailing address includes the word "Portland" in it. I have no intention of paying this blatant theft (walk up to a window and pay in cash. Really?!?) and am curious if "they" will be coming after me. Any ideas on how they plan to actually define a Portland resident?

Under Residency, notice how they don't give any examples if you are an illegal alien. I guess they wouldn't have to pay from some of their examples. They could easily claim they may someday move back whence they came, even in an urn. Their examples even opens up more can of worms.

I hope I'm reading the Arts Tax code wrong.

The Arts Tax code provides:

5.73.100 Confidentiality.

This Section does not prohibit:

B. Disclosure of the names and addresses of any persons that paid the Tax;

E. Disclosure to an outside collection agency for collection of any unpaid account balance receivable. Assignment to an outside collection agency permits the Bureau to collect a reasonable collection fee, above and beyond any amount otherwise owed to the Bureau;

This appears to mean there is really no confidentiality and that the City can hire bounty hunters to track you down if you don't pay.

If you pay the tax, your name and address can be published. If you don't pay, they can send the dogs after you.

I highly doubt the city has the financial means and legal resources to track down every person who don't pay this stupid tax.you notice they said they can write off any debt they deem uncollectible.I imagine they will be forced to do this quite a bit with so many portlanders out of work still and having limited assets like unemployment; ssi and social security which the city of portland is not allowed to garnish or touch to collect this tax.the high legal and court fee plus time and effort cost to collect such a small amount of money I believe will deter the city from doggedly trying to collect this and force the city to write many of these debts off.

Income includes child support payments and non-taxable disability? I am fairly ashamed of my city government after reading that.

Not to mention that counting property sales as income regardless of basis plays right in to the head-tax argument.

I anticipated problems, for me one of the worst is the "clutches" this city has upon the privacy of the residents, pushing additional stress upon the community and knowing in some cases finances and SS number, date of birth and bank number??

People have enough to do with the IRS deadline, now having to deal with the city on this matter by April 15th. For those who don't WANT to do online, will there be lines around the block to pay down at city?

As far as I am concerned, the city is reaching into territory called "none of your business."

Some people don't allow their address in the phone book, yet the city can publish it?

There are so many ways this is unacceptable. Suppose one has a legal situation such as with a permit, etc. with the city or anything else that comes up. Is it the city's business to know the income level of the people who live and do business here?

So they used the arts to get this tax going. I am surprised they didn't use the children such as a children's tax, but they are using children now to push fluoride. By the way, does anyone know if the city is actually retrieving money from a fluoride industry to implement fluoride in our community?

How did they collect the Multnomah County income tax back in the day? Can't remember

Sooo...has a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the arts tax been filed yet? What can we do to get the ball rolling on that?

I think Arty the Seal said it best...

I got a postcard in the mail today instructing me to pay their damned illegal tax. I sent scans of the card to Jack.

I just will never understand the voters in this city?
How many times have people of this city voted in favor of a tax levy?
The people that live here are truly nuts

One outcome out of this mess is the ill-feelings many will have including myself for the art community besides CoP.

Over 20% of collections will be needed to process it.

In what's left over, over 50% will go to organizations like the Opera, Symphony. Little for public education art.

Collections will be a failure like the water bureau computer fiasco where thousands of bill weren't sent out. I was one that got a bill over a year later on a rental property. I refused to pay it since the renter had left and the water bill was in renter's name. City hired collection agency to hassle me for over 8 months. I ignored it and will do the same on the Arts Scam. It will be shot down in court.

Phil, the point George is making is that, unless (as an individual, for instance) you make just a little over $11,000 or less in 2012 you get to pay just as much as a CEO who makes several million dollars. Some folks will say, "Well, it's only $35 (or $70 if you are part of a working couple) but there's a huge difference to someone who is barely managing to make ends meet month to month and someone who owns multiple homes, cars, and vacations wherever he or she pleases with no financial worries. That's hardly fair, regardless of the amount involved.

My glaring example still stands: My neighbor who makes just above the "poverty level" for singles and who can't even heat his apartment on a regular basis because of the expense pays just as much as the CEO of PGE who makes over $2 mil a year.

Lee makes a good point. I'm a huge supporter of the arts. I've played the piano since I was 7, I grew up in the theatre, I volunteer for the Opera, have season tickets to the Symphony, and donate monthly to the classical radio station. There is no shortage of studies to illustrate the benefit of arts education, and I know how much my life has been enriched by the various mediums I enjoy. But this tax is wrong for many reasons, most of which have been well articulated on this blog, and it was not something I could support. The fact that these various organizations lobbied so hard to pass this tax leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I may end up paying it, but if I do, my voluntary contributions to any organization that benefits from this tax will be reduced, and I will make sure they understand that. It's unfortunate, but probably the only way to make my voice heard.

I too believe the importance and value of arts in our community but this was not the way to go about it. I thought this head tax would cast a pallor of negativity on the arts and I am concerned that individual artists will lose business as a result. I suspect they now more than ever in this economy are having difficulty keeping their businesses/studios going and that they will not be happy with having to pay this tax either. If the art organizations are needing funding, and schools need art, I believe fundraisers throughout our community would have been a better route. There are people in our city who could afford to give money rather than force elderly on social security and those on unemployment, etc. to pay. I personally would rather buy paper and art supplies or money for music sheets to give to a school than turn over money to the city to distribute.

Can anyone tell me why the COP website requires one to log in before searching for documents or otherwise seeing any of their web pages? Not very "public" if you ask me. No other city that I know of does this. Why Portland?

By the time the inevitable, embarrassing, prolonged, and ill-advised legal fight is over, the City will have lost money on the deal; plus (more importantly) what little goodwill they had left from the minions still waiting on line for Flav-R-Aid. But do they learn?

No -- it's already on to the next swindle. Only total and utter bankruptcy will shake the Do-Gooders from their fever dream, and cause each one to slink off to Progressive cities yet to hear the the Bankster's "LOAN DENIED" stamp slam home.

KATU News at % pm on Sunday led with this story.

They had a banker TRY to pay online...and failed. Tried to pay by check.... NO ADDRESS other than City Hall. No word on how to make out check to insure it's credited property.

Too funny. Well, kinda sad too.

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