Readers Respond to the Biggest Tax Debts in Portland

“It’s been going on for years! Yet if the average person in Oregon owes back tax or even child support, they will crawl up your ASS!”

Shilo Inn Portland Airport. (Chris Nesseth)

Last week, WW plumbed a new list of tax delinquencies that the Oregon Department of Revenue released on July 14 (“The Tardy Dozen,” Aug. 2). The list, the product of then-WW news editor Brent Walth hounding Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) into passing legislation back in 2019, contains a treasure trove of information about who hasn’t paid state taxes. For our purposes, we concentrated on the top 12 delinquents with Portland addresses, delivering a mini profile of each. Here’s what our readers had to say.

ZBIGNEW, VIA WWEEK.COM: “Reading the specific articles, [I] continue to see those owing claiming DOR estimates are wrong. Well, doesn’t the DOR base those estimates on filings made to them with sales and income data? Maybe these folks need better accountants. And for those who have retail marijuana operations, that sales tax is payable regardless of the other losses you have from operating your business.”

REASONABLESKEPTIC, VIA WWEEK.COM: “A little jail time might convince them. Enough tiptoeing around the issue—people who don’t pay their taxes should be subjected to a prison term. That might do the trick.”

JAMES D. GREGORY, VIA FACEBOOK: “It’s been going on for years! Yet if the average person in Oregon owes back tax or even child support, they will crawl up your ASS! In months, they will garnish wages and seize bank accounts!!”

WEST STEWART MCCALL, VIA TWITTER: “‘Tis the season for shady lowlife sleazy former hotel hustlers and political losers to be indicted. Bonus points if a battering ram was used!”

IM_NOT_A_ROBOT, VIA WWEEK.COM: “These tax cheats are thieves. They are stealing from everyone else who pays their taxes, and they are forcing more people into homelessness due to underfunded human services and public education services. They are the worst of the worst in terms of the people who call this place their home and place of business. As far as I’m concerned, the state has been way too lenient to them in the past, and that incompetence on the state’s part has encouraged them to steal even more.”

WATCHINGASTORIA, VIA WWEEK.COM: “[Mark] Hemstreet is the Oregon version of the Trump empire. I hope the Oregon Justice Department finally stops playing cat and mouse with him. There seem to be a lot of other hotel chains that manage to pay their taxes, so his tax problems are unique to him, and not some Democrat conspiracy to ‘get’ Mark [Hemstreet]. He also isn’t making any ‘statement’—like a conscientious tax refuser—he is just a tax cheat.”

LURKY + WEAPONIZED AF, VIA WWEEK.COM: “It could be argued that these 12 delinquents may have saved our remaining two-lane roads from being converted to bike lanes. Just sayin’. SPOILER: In the future, lazy humans will still ride around in auto ‘carriages’ of some type (if not fossil fuel motorized). So we’re still going to need roads and parking spaces, etc. I know, should have alerted the geniuses down at City Hall a few years ago.”

LETTERS to the editor must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97296 Email:

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