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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Theater of the absurd

We see the Portland City Council is still tinkering with its foolhardy opera and ballet tax. Now the geniuses are talking about changing the rules that apply to 2012. That year ended 86 days ago. If there's a prize for incompetent lawmaking, this baby is going to win it hands down.

Oh, and the estimated costs of attempting to collect the tax just went up by 20%, to $600,000. How embarrassing it is to live here.

Comments (13)

What's this about Council changing the lanugage of a measure approved by the voters of the City of Portland? They can't just pass something by vote and then change it to be what they like AFTER the vote.

That leads to misguided electioneering where something everybody likes is placed on the ballot and afterwords, Council amends and redacts to get what they want.

Nossir....not gonna fly.

Some clown should be going to jail for writing this fraudulent felonious junk. I guess they think that if they can pass unconstitutional junk, then they might as well do ex post facto rewrites.

I said in the voter pamphlet on this Arts measure the City Council would end up playing around and changing it for purposes not stated in the ballot title. It's not even four months old and this new (old) form of taxation is taking hold. If struck down as unconstitutional, we still don't win because this impulse driven City Hall will likely just draft a new, actual income tax. This is why the Taxpayer Association of Oregon's petition to require a vote by the people on any increase in local government taxes and fees should be signed and placed on the ballot. Otherwise, Portland City Hall will use its new device to confiscate enough monies from its citizens to pay for all the borrowed public money waste and cronyism the likes of Sam Adams and Randy Leonard left the city with.
The local electorate were sold a bunch of false hopes with no immediate cost to them; and unfortunately, it doesn't matter if you foresaw such financial stupidity, because most of your neighbors didn't and swallowed the bait hook line and sinker.

Sam Adams should get a Noam Chomsky award for his synthetic manufacture of consent and illusion of participation. I did enjoy the funny hunter-like hat he would dawn on snow and ice emergency days. But that's the best I can say of him.

I still say that the proposed modification makes no difference to anybody but the homeless. (And probably doesn't even exclude them as I am sure most of them receive more than $1,000/year in hadnouts.)

If "gifts" are still considered income, and I assume free room and board is considered a "gift" then even a 18 year old kid living with their parent(s) making $0.05 for turning in a can to get the bottle deposit still has an "income" greater than $1,000 and is subject to the tax.

I laugh at Council when their new proposed Ordinance states "It was not the Council's intent...to assess a tax in excess of an individuals income." That must mean that if your income is $35.01 then it's okay to tax you.

But now you have until May 15th to NOT pay the tax, because of all the confusion.


Still a head tax and un-Oregon Constitution-al - No matter how much they nuance income into their arguments.

Michael makes a good point.
During the course of the year how many free meals does the average homeless person consume at any of the various charities ?
Even assuming one a day and a cost of $3 a meal that puts a homeless person over the $1000 threshold.

Two things from today's council meeting:

1. Gifts are no longer included in income. Staff quietly changed that administratively last week.

2. According to Nick Fish, the city cannot disburse any money until BoJack's lawsuit is resolved.


Thanks for the update, both of those are good to know.

I suggest a poll as to which project represents the greatest outlay of sheer incompetence: Columbia River Crossing, or Arts Tax?

I'm confused how they can change the terms of a measure passed by the public....

Apparently, sometimes when you vote, you change the city charter; other times, you're just passing an ordinance. None of that is ever announced to the voters in advance, of course.

2. According to Nick Fish, the city cannot disburse any money until BoJack's lawsuit is resolved.

Can we then say that we will not pay until BoJack's lawsuit is resolved?

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