State Court Throws Out Jack Bogdanski's Art Tax Lawsuit, Again

The Oregon Tax Court has for a second time dismissed a lawsuit by Lewis & Clark Law School professor Jack Bogdanski against the Portland Arts Tax, upholding an earlier ruling that the court lacks jurisdiction.

Tax Court Judge Henry C. Breithaupt yesterday dismissed Bogdanski's appeal, confirming the court's ruling last June that the local tax is not a state matter.

Bogdanski has sued the city, charging that the $35-a-person tax passed by voters in 2012 violates the state constitution. The last time the court dismissed his suit, Bogdanski—the erstwhile blogger currently writing a tax-law textbook—said he would take the case to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Despite the lawsuit, the city has begun distributing the money it's collected from the tax, giving $3.5 million earlier this month to school districts and arts nonprofits.

WW reported last week that only 55 percent of Portland citizens have paid the tax in its first year. 

UPDATE, 5:05 pm: Bogdanski tells WW he hasn't decided on his next step.

"In the end, the constitutionality of the Portland arts tax will be decided by the Oregon Supreme Court," Bogdanski says. "I remain confident that the tax will be held unconstitutional. I am taking every step that I can to have the tax declared illegal, which it clearly is."

Mayor Charlie Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes says his boss learned of the court's ruling during a City Council session.

"The mayor was quite pleased by that," Haynes says. "Not surprised, but pleased."