Turns out citizens aren't just willing to vote for a Portland Arts Tax. Given enough time, they'll pay it, too.
More than 248,000 Portland residents have paid the $35-a-person tax after two deadline extensions, paying the city $7.6 million, according to Mayor Charlie Hales's office.
Those numbers are estimated, says Hales spokesman Dana Haynes, because the city's revenue bureau is still counting about 10,000 paper Arts Tax returns filed in person or by U.S. mail.
Monday was the final deadline to pay the Arts Tax before the city imposes a $20 penalty.
The city has delayed the Arts Tax deadline twice—first because of errors in the tax language and again because the revenue bureau's website crashed. But Haynes says the city is on track to meet its goal of raising $8.3 million by the end of June. (That number was adjusted down from $8.6 million after Hales created several exemptions for seniors and people making less than $1,000 a year.)
Taxpayers have been turning in their $35 even though the city isn't willing to give any money to arts nonprofits until two lawsuits against the tax—one by Lewis & Clark Law School professor Jack Bogdanski—have been settled.