Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Egg on Face for Portland Arts Tax; Deadline to Pay Unclear

Another glitch has occurred, and there is more egg on face for the Portland Arts Tax and the City of Portland. "No payments will be accepted online until further notice. . . . A new deadline will be announced in coming days." Clarity and competence are not a part of either this tax or the City of Portland. From the Arts Tax website:


MAX Redline said...

This thing could well go entirely belly-up before the city decides exactly when its next deadline for payment is going to be. The city's moved to dismiss, and so their legal beagles and the tax law professor will spend some time presenting oral arguments May 22. It doesn't seem likely that the city's going to prevail on this one; would a guy who makes his living teaching tax law to up-and-coming lawyers be likely to challenge the tax if he wasn't fairly certain of his facts?

OregonGuy said...

Sort of begs the question, who came up with this idea in the first place?

And, did the idea get referred to counsel?

Constitutional protections are so yesterday, after all.

T. D. said...

What I want to know is why the City is so flush that it can pony up $2 million if the tax is ruled unconstitutional. Why didn't it just give the $$ in the first place?

Thanks for your comments, guys.

MAX Redline said...

Oh, I'm not sure how Charlie dug up the other million dollars, but he found it in the contingency fund.

Hales has now pledged $1 million of contingency money from the city's 2013-14 general fund and another $1 million from the 2014-15 general fund that would otherwise go to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, which championed the tax.

It's amusing that the "RACC" gets to take a $1 million hit if their turkey loses in court.

T. D. said...

Good find, Max. It is amusing and undoubtedly a better use of the money. If it does go down, that's a good continuing source of funds to hire teachers. I wonder what other City councils can help fund the schools in lots of needed areas.

Maybe the general fund's contingency monies should be our suggestion when there are new taxes proposed. "Why doesn't the City use its general fund contingency funds?"

It looks like the RACC's budget is normally about $3.8 million. (see page 708 of book 1 of the 2011-2012 budget - and the General Fund's contingency monies are about $9.5 million out of a General Fund total of $490 million (see page 50 of book 1 of the 2012-2013 budget -

So both budgets are plenty fat enough to take come up with $2 million.