Really? Another local income tax for Portland?

I've said for years now that if you're a successful person with a real life, Portland wants you out. The local taxing system confirms this. If you make a decent living in this part of the world, you may find yourself paying most, if not all, of these:

    - The Multnomah County income tax "for the children."

    - The Metro government income tax "for the homeless."

    - The Tri-Met self-employment tax (or payroll tax).

    - The City of Portland arts tax ($35 a head, but it's not a head tax, honest).

    - The City of Portland business tax.

    - The Multnomah County business tax.

Four out of those six income taxes require you to make quarterly deposits, or else pay penalties and interest.

And apparently we're not done adding to that hideous list. Now some clowns are proposing a Multnomah County capital gains tax, to pay for lawyers for deadbeat tenants.

The “Eviction Representation for All” initiative, filed with the county March 3 by a coalition of tenants’ rights and social justice non-profits, is aimed at the November ballot.

The initiative proposes to levy a tax of .75% on capital gains—which, generally speaking, are profits investors earn on the sale of assets such as stocks, bonds or real estate—to fund a new program at Multnomah County that would contract with five law firms or nonprofits to provide free legal representation for tenants facing eviction. Proponents hope to raise $12 million to $15 million a year.

I'm an attorney. And I never have capital gains. But I think that's one of the worst ideas I've heard in a long time, even by Portland standards. No, no, a thousand times no.


  1. Keep voting for liberal Dems and your tax rate is guaranteed to go up. They have no other solution.

    1. As versus voting for conservative Rethugs or wingbat large L Libertarians, who will bring back the unrestrained jackbooted thugs (aka PPD). Those nitwits have never met a sales tax they didn't want, specifically in an attempt to escape the business taxes. Electing conservatives merely leads to full-scale tax avoidance, chicanery, and corruption.

      I'm still waiting for Jack to propose a sensible set of revenue production measures that are not onerous upon the taxpaying public. Jack doe this stuff for a living, yet I've never heard him recommend a means of paying for what public services we might need. Enlighten me.

    2. I'd be happy if Portland would just stop inventing new ones.

    3. Jack doesn't need to come up with solutions. He's not running for any public office. As for the means to pay for public services, how about not putting the entire burden on small businesses and taxpayers who have the means (and often the will) to move elsewhere? Clark County is now growing at a faster clip than any of the Metro counties. Multnomah County has the slowest growth rate of all of them. And if you think Multnomah County's highest-income-tax-burden-at-the-lowest-income-level of any county in the United States doesn't have anything to do with it, dream on. Feel free to come up with your own solutions, but small business and the "rich" are soaked and up-and-leaving. So you'd best look elsewhere to solve the myriad of problems Portland has brought on itself.

    4. Capital gains taxes aren't new and you know it. Applying them on a municipal basis seems misguided to me, but folks are looking for ways to tax those who buy loopholes, buy commissioners, buy state legislators, and manufacture specious 'job generation' propaganda and then hire expensive accountants and lawyers to escape any and all taxation. I don't know taxpayers who get subsidies from the state, regional government, county, or city, but I've watched all of them hand out subsidies like they were lollipops. I think folks like Merritt Paulson should be paying a shipload more than he has, or will, so I agree with the sentiment. Also, I don't give a ship as to whether Jack is running for public office, he is a cranky commentator who has significant education, training, and application of taxation theory and practice. I would expect some knowledgeable speculation as to taxation that might work to meet our community needs. And....Good riddance, anonymous.

    5. Thank you for that, godfry. And ship ya, Anonymous. Get some learnin' befo' yer spwein'. It's nearly never as black and white as y'all need it to be.

    6. Actually, a tax imposed only on capital gains and not on other income *is* a new one. The first I heard of such a thing was up in Washington State, and it was invented just recently.

  2. Would this tax also apply to RMD's?

  3. Will remote-workers for companies in Portland be affected by these taxes? I live at the coast and remote work, but the nearest corporate office is in downtown Portland.


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