Oregon Tax Court Throws Out Jack Bogdanski's Arts-Tax Lawsuit

Professor says he will appeal all the way to Oregon Supreme Court

Jack Bogdanski

If you were waiting to see how Jack Bogdanski's lawsuit against the Portland Arts Tax turned out before paying it, you might want to pull out your checkbook.

Oregon Tax Court has dismissed a suit filed by Bogdanski, a Lewis & Clark Law School professor and retired blogger, alleging that the city's $35-a-person tax violates the state constitution.

But the court hasn't upheld the tax's constitutionality. Instead, it ruled on Tuesday, June 4 that it doesn't have jurisdiction over city taxes.

"The court concludes that it does not have the statutory authority to hear Plaintiff's challenge to the City of Portland's tax," the ruling says. "That is so because jurisdiction must start with a challenge to a tax law administered by the state and the Portland Arts Tax is not a tax law of the state, but rather a municipal tax law."

The current deadline to pay the Arts Tax is June 10. 

UPDATE, 6:29 pm: Put a hold on your debit card! Bogdanski says he will appeal all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court.

This afternoon he issued a statement to WW, dated June 4: 

UPDATE, 7:05 pm: Mayor Charlie Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes first heard about the ruling from WW. He says he expects Bogdanski to appeal, and notes that a second lawsuit remains in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

"While it is a relief to hear this news," Haynes says, "it is not the end of the road for our besieged Arts Tax."

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