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Monday, October 8, 2012

Portland leaf tax is back

As a reminder of just how awful Portland city government has become, here's your notice that the city will be charging people to sweep the streets in front of their homes again this year. If you want to "opt out" of paying (either $15 or $30), you have until the day after Halloween.

There really is no hope for Portland as long as shinola like this goes on. The Sam Rand Twins have wrecked the place.

Comments (10)

I'm actually surprised they even give notice.
With this bunch I'd expect them to just tack it on your water bill after the fact.
Whether you received the service or not.

I was just thinking about street cleaning this morning. Do corner lots pay double?

Oy, I had forgotten all about the leaf tax! Thanks, Jack!

So I called the opt out number - apparently the opt out deadline is November 1, haven't received my mailer yet but you can probably opt out by mail if memory serves from last year that was how I did it. Very interesting that the spot check will be conducted by an employee using their "best judgment" for those of us who have opted out. I pushed the phone rep for what that meant/whether there is an appeal process - she said there was, but "best judgment" from a city employee when I'm opting out of a tax/fee is a scary standard, imo.

Wordy, but here's the fuzzy standard in writing:

How will the spot-check component of the opt-out program work?
Our Leaf Day crews will include supervisors who will spot check locations that applied to opt out. On the scheduled pickup day(s), supervisors will check to see if opt-out customers put effort into managing the leaves that fall in the street in front of their property. They will confirm that the leaves were managed and removed from the curb to the center of the street. They will also verify if customers have no street trees or trees on their property that drop leaves in the street.

If you submit an opt-out application and fail the spot check, you will be billed for the Leaf Day service fee. You may also be subject to administrative fees of $15, which may include the costs of the spot check, billing, appeals process, and additional customer service.

You will know if your property was spot-checked because we will leave a doorhanger that tells you we were there and whether or not you passed.

Please be assured that supervisors will use common sense and good judgment to determine if you complied with the terms of the program. By observing the condition of the street and the amount of leaf debris along the curb, supervisors will be able to determine if you made an adequate effort. If the amount of leaves is only incidental, probably the result of additional leaf fall overnight or wind or rain, you will likely pass the spot check. Supervisors are aware that some leaves from neighboring properties can drift into a cleared area and that leaves can continue to fall overnight.

However, if the amount of leaves and leaf debris is significant and clearly shows no pickup or cleanup effort, you will likely not pass the spot check. Leaves blown into the street from a neighboring property is not reason alone to fail a spot check.

In addition, if you say there are no street trees or trees on your property that drop leaves in the street and supervisors verify this fact in their spot check, you will pass. If supervisors find leaves in the street but no street trees or other trees on your property that could have dropped the leaves, supervisors will assume the leaves blew into the street from a neighboring property and you will pass the spot check. No street trees, no problem.

However, if you say there are no street trees and supervisors find that there are in fact trees in the planting strip or on your property that drop leaves in the street, you will fail the spot check.

Given the winds last week, I bet there are many houses with no trees, but lots of leaves. If there are further storms/winds, should be interesting to see how the leaf cops handle it.

Wait a minute! Didn't you opt-out last year? If that's the case, you should receive an "opt-in opportunity" notice.

Not that it matters much to me: in SW, they don't bother with streets.

Still, the east-siders either pay close attention, or they get hosed.

Thank you Jack, I went online and opted out.

Leaf police! What a joke!

The CoP is offering free parking strip trees, of certain approved varieties, on our street. I guess that means that next year we'll be hit up by the Leaf Police.

if they can afford It, heres an idea-STOP. Since the maintenance bureau has no leadership there, the place is runing rapid. The new manager were unemployeed for a reason. Why did the city hire them. They have no idea how budget, let alone deal with people. There mission should say, we harass, belittle, and lie. Hopefully we can find something to discipline you for. Someone needs to clean house and empty out the management office. Start at the top, and take here peons with her. The law suits, EEOC, what a corrupt place. Who is going to stop them... Since when is a goverment business run on personal feelings. Its a business run it like one, Its your your personal business.

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