City Guarantees Schools Their First Arts-Tax Payment

But PPS says it will only budget for 30 arts teachers, not 45


Mayor Charlie Hales has struck a deal to give Portland Public Schools and five other school districts their first payment from the arts tax—whether or not the tax is struck down as illegal by the courts.The deal calls for the City of Portland to cover two-thirds of the money the schools expects this fall, if it loses two pending lawsuits against the error-riddled tax. But today's deal—regardless ...   More
Monday, May 13, 2013 by Aaron Mesh

Portland Pensioners Eligible for Arts Tax Refund


The star-crossed, $35-per-head arts tax Portlanders approved last November continues to sow confusion in the populace. For the second time, the city is having to issue guidance about who should and should not have to pay the tax—and this time, it's offering a refund.Mayor Charlie Hales, whose exasperation with the flawed measure is obvious, announced this morning that the city will offer refunds ...   More
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 NIGEL JAQUISS

UPDATED: Steve Novick Wants to Make Portland Arts Tax a Piggyback Tax


 Portland City Council on Wednesday directed the city revenue bureau to look for more potential changes to the arts tax. City Commissioner Steve Novick has one in mind: He wants to change the very structure of the tax.Novick described the arts tax as "beyond regressive" when it was a ballot measure in November, because it charges every person above federal poverty levels the same $35, regardless ...   More
Thursday, March 28, 2013 AARON MESH

Murmurs: Bogdanski Files Suit Against Art Tax and a Farewell to Kathie Durbin

But can you use the bill as rolling papers?

It’s not like Jack Bogdanski to be coy. The Lewis & Clark Law School professor, best known by the nom de blog Bojack, is ever willing to skewer local officials and the media. But this week   More
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 WW Editorial Staff

Rise of the Falcon

Can one man’s millions keep struggling Portland artists aloft?

Cover Story
You won’t believe who is in Brian Wannamaker’s basement. Against one wall, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock plays electric guitar next to a wild boar. Nearby, rock chanteuse Storm Large bel   More
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 AARON MESH

Jack Bogdanski Sues City of Portland Over Arts Tax

Blogger known as Bojack calls $35 tax unconstitutional


Lewis & Clark Law School professor and blogger Jack Bogdanski has filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland in Oregon Tax Court, alleging the city's $35 arts tax violates the state constitution. Bogdanski's lawsuit, obtained today by WW, was filed on March 7.It's the only lawsuit pending against the arts tax, according to a tax court clerk in Salem. Bogdanski's suit asks the tax court to find ...   More
Monday, March 18, 2013 AARON MESH

Debt on Pointe

Oregon Ballet Theatre owes $300,000 in back rent. Just in time, here comes the arts tax.

News Stories
City officials finally produced details last week of a new arts tax that voters passed last November, requiring Portlanders to pay $35 a year to fund arts teachers in the public schools and suppor   More
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 NIGEL JAQUISS

Don't Worry, You Can Pay Your Arts Tax Bill by Snail Mail


Taxpayers across Portland opened their mailboxes with barely restrained ecstasy this weekend, delighted to learn the $35 bill for the city arts tax they passed last fall had finally arrived.Or perhaps not. Some Portlanders were actually bewitched, bothered and bewildered by the reminder postcard sent by the city's revenue bureau. The card suggests the only way to pay the $35-a-person tax is by computer. ...   More
Monday, March 4, 2013 by Aaron Mesh

WW Endorsement Video: Who Else Besides Schools Would Get Money from the


Portland voters on Nov. 6 will decide whether the city can levy a $35-per-person annual arts tax to raise $12 million a year to help restore an art or music instruction in every elementary school in the city. About half the money would go to schools, while the rest would go to arts non-profits for their operating budgets and other arts education—from small performing and visual arts groups to big ...   More
Saturday, October 13, 2012 WW Editorial Staff

Paying the Piper

Voters approved a tax to fund the arts. Now the city faces the high price of collecting it.

News Stories
More than 61 percent of Portland voters checked “yes” on a Nov. 6 ballot measure to raise millions in new taxes to hire more art and music teachers and help bankroll arts organizations. They   More
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 AARON MESH


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