This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 3, 2013 12:15 PM. The previous post in this blog was It will never happen in Portlandia, cont'd. The next post in this blog is Debbie Does Disability. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Arts tax lawsuit will continue

The Portland City Council continues to tinker with the goofy and unconstitutional head tax for the arts. They made changes today retroactive to January 1, 2012. It's insane.

Today's change has no effect on the current lawsuit challenging the legality of the tax under the Oregon constitution. As we've written here before, we will not be paying the tax (or doing so only under protest) unless and until the Oregon Supreme Court tells us we have to.

Comments (18)

I still maintain this has opened Pandora's Box to many people who have never paid attention as to the kind of city council we have.
This council sits on their perches thinking they have done so much to "fix" this, looks more like a PR spin to me.
You can be sure they do not want to lose this "head tax" case, so they can come up with more head tax scenarios in the future.
Good luck on the case Jack and thank you for taking this on.

Came to this same conclusion, not to pay the tax, shortly after the Nov. elections...now when do I tell my spouse?

I'm paying because I think it's worthwhile, but also believe it should be a sliding scale based on income. It's ridiculous that a partner at Stoel Rives pays the exact same amount that I do.

Teresa -

Remember, its $ 35.00 from each of you. Whats your spouse going to do? Will eachof you, like me, refuse to pay?

Jack, since we will no longer have your blog to follow you on your lawsuit efforts, how can we kept apprised? We WILL miss you.

I'm sure there will be mainstream media coverage. It could go on long enough that I'm back blogging before the litigation is over.

In the meantime, there will be some coverage in the blogging world also.

You got a reprieve, until May 15th now to figure something out to tell your spouse.
I still wonder if Fish said no returns on any money until lawsuit is settled, can we also claim not to pay until lawsuit is settled?

Dave J.
Believe me, I am supportive of the arts.
I would rather contribute my share to buying from an artist at an art's fair or buy supplies directly for children.
I happen to believe this is more than the arts here, it is a vehicle to allow a head tax.
I believe this will cast a negative attitude towards the arts in this city by many people who will resent the arts as a result of this.
I also am very concerned about the city knowing about the citizen's income level and how many people live in households. It is one thing for the IRS and census takings,
is this really the city's business?

I am supportive of the arts and artists too. But, I don't need the city to tell me how to spend my money or who to patronize. And, various and sundry entities already take lots of my money for education that they seem to piss it away with very poor results. I prioritize education and arts - I don't value hacks, pols, administrators and bureaucrats doing nothing, getting paid for it and living off fat pensions for the rest of their lives. I can decide just fine who should get my hard earned money.

This is a ploy to set up an additional taxing structure at the City of Portland. I would have rather purchased a ticket or made a donation to the arts org of my choice - now I won't.

I have many friends who are trained and accomplished artists who spent YEARS in local public school proving arts ed for FREE. Were they "certified teachers" no - were they good at what they did - yes. Many, if not most, schools had the same set up - why don't we use some of the high taxes we already pay for PPS to teach arts - rather than stealing more money from the lowly Portlanders who can barely pay their heating bill, tuition, water bill etc. I am hoping this lawsuit gets a decent judge - that will be the clincher. Another expensive PDX mess.

Let's not forget that even the Willamette Week said thumbs down to this, yet ... it passed anyways, which goes to show how truly out to lunch PDX voters are.

How much of that $35 do you think REALLY makes it to "the arts" after the city skims off a chunk for administration? Half?

We already pay an "arts tax". Just look at the pile of rusted crap they put up along the bridges - that's the "2% for art" tax that we're all paying.

I'm glad that Jack has taken this latest insult on.

Support the arts...buy art, go to the symphony, ballet, and opera, or support other artistic endevours.
No need for a stupid arts tax.

Art is made by starving artists. When they get fat and sassy you get something else, usually something crassly commercial. And funded art is rarely art, particularly when governmentally funded. Maybe next the artists will qualify for PERS.

Maybe defer paying the tax until challenge(s) are fully litigated. Downside is the $35 could become $70 plus "reasonable" collection fee. But by deferring in citation of lack of court vindication (the ballot title decision does not suffice even though the City wants you to believe such), it reduces the value of the claim the City can sell to a collection agency I should think. Traditionally, the seller of a claim maybe gets 50 cents on the dollar, but if it is disputed in advance, the value may drop well below 50 cents on the dollar.

If one doesn't pay and city goes to collection, would that affect one's credit?
Would the city have to wait to collect until the case is settled?
It would be good to get legal advice as to what to do should this art tax be overturned. Should the city now be required to set this money aside until the case is settled? If not and there is any doubt of returns, would that be reason not to send the money in?

Why not take that 2% for "art" that is currently squandered on monstrosities like the pile of rusty junk at the end of the bridge and apply it to teaching art and music in the schools ?

Not paying the arts tax and having to pay a possible additional $70 fine is money well spent. This act of civil disobedience certainly costs me less than others have paid through history.

I envision the city burning through the $600,000 that has been set aside for collecting the tax and needing more. I predict they will run out of money before they even have a chance to compile information needed to turn over to a collection agency.

I have faith that Jack will prevail in his suit. By not paying, this is my way of "doubling" down on Jack's efforts.

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