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May 8th, 2013 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: After Nike’s Sweetheart Deal, Intel Makes a Play.

murmurs_3927HALES - IMAGE: Peter Hiatt
     
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  • Intel now wants what Nike got. Emails obtained by WW under a public records request show that, in late March, Intel met with Gov. John Kitzhaber’s team “for a follow-on conversation to the December special session legislation.” That’s when Kitzhaber and lawmakers locked in Nike’s current “single sales factor” tax treatment for 30 years in exchange for Nike investing $150 million and creating 500 new jobs. Intel, which employs 17,000 people in Oregon (twice Nike’s in-state payroll), has not yet proposed specific terms, but there could be one big difference: Nike agreed to cap property-tax breaks under a separate program at $5 million; Intel has already received about $500 million in  breaks. Intel spokeswoman Jill Eiland says, “We have not yet made an official decision to move forward.”
  • The city of Portland may never stop finding new and interesting ways that the $35-a-person arts tax voters approved last November is screwed up. In March, Mayor Charlie Hales announced the city had discovered the tax unfairly fell on people who made less than $1,000 a year—and it would cost a bundle to fix. Now the mayor reports the city will be sending refunds to people whose earnings come primarily from Social Security or the Public Employees Retirement System. Hales says he wants the city to be fair to taxpayers, but given the way the measure was written, “This arts tax puts us in a bind.” Meanwhile, Creative Advocacy Network, the nonprofit that pushed for the tax, is seeking to extend the contract of executive director Jessica Jarratt Miller so she can keep pressure on City Hall not to junk the tax completely. Jarratt Miller was previously paid $100,000 a year. Her new contract, calling for part-time work, would pay her $60,000, including benefits.

VOTE!: Don’t forget to mark and mail your ballot for the May 21 election. Last week, WW made its endorsements on three ballot measures and seven contested races for local school boards. You can read the endorsements at wweek.com/2013election.

Here’s the bottom line:

  • Measure 26-150, city of Portland, renews children’s levy: Yes.
  • Measure 26-151, city of Portland, mandates fluoridation of the city’s drinking water: Yes.
  • Measure 26-152, Metro, levy to support maintenance of open spaces and park lands: Yes.
  • Portland Public Schools: Zone 4: Martin Gonzalez. Zone 6: Tom Koehler. 
  • Portland Community College: Zone 2: Kali Thorne Ladd. Zone 4: Jim Harper. Zone 5: Ken Madden.
  • Multnomah Education Service District: Position 1: Chris Cochran. Position 2: Nels Johnson. Position 3: Erica Thatcher. 
 
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