The 2016 ballot will be loaded with new tax measures. The legislative session that started Feb. 1 includes a bill that could add another tax: a permanent taxing district for children.
Oregon already has special taxing districts to fund libraries, transit and ports. Senate Bill 1545, co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Riley (D-Hillsboro) and Reps. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland) and Julie Parrish (R-West Linn), would allow the creation of a 27th type of taxing district, for kids.
Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman created the Portland Children's Levy, a property tax voters have renewed every five years since 2002 to raise money for child-abuse prevention, foster care, early education and hunger prevention.
The bill would allow the city to seek to make the levy a permanent tax.
Brendan Finn, chief of staff to Saltzman, says his boss backed a previous version of the bill and still supports the concept, although he sees ending the state ban on inclusionary housing as a higher priority.
"He's been a long advocate," Finn says.