Calling them off

Well, Multnomah County and Metro have done something reasonable. They've ordered the vicious Portland City Hall tax collectors to stop imposing penalties on the many thousands of upper-middle and high-income people who didn't pay the first year of the hideous new county and Metro income taxes. (I wrote about the situation with the penalties last week, here.)

It's a one-year amnesty, because the taxpayers in question claim they didn't know about the new taxes. They'll still have to pay the taxes, but the sadists at the city, who are collecting the taxes for the county and the Metro, will be deprived of their usual glee at sticking it to the taxpayers. Multnomah and Metro are even waiving interest on the unpaid taxes, which is maybe a little too nice.

Anyway, when you explain to your friends why people are fleeing Portland, don't forget the city's tax structure, and especially the bureaucrats they have inflicting it on people. They can't wait, and the pettier the issue, the better. It's a major downer.

Anyway, bully for the county and Metro for calling those hounds off, at least for now.


  1. Wish there was a way to see if the majority that approved the tax would be on the hook for paying it

    1. It’s pretty certain that the majority of people who voted for this will not pay this tax, given that it kicks in at around $120k for a single person and $200k for a couple. We need the state to pass a law, or maybe we need a constitutional amendment, saying that localities can’t impose local income taxes because their effect can sink not just the localities, but also the entire state’s economy. I know, I’m not holding my breath.

    2. Or at least an amendment saying that local taxes can only be raised if everyone over the poverty line has to pay something. Let everyone have to put their money where their mouths are. And pray they learned something from the Arts Tax debacle.

  2. There are plenty of things wrong with the penalties and interest structure set up by elected officials and used by Oregon taxing authorities. Don't blame tax collectors for dutifully applying the laws they're employed to enforce--and remember they have little latitude in selectively applying or abating. One hopes that the management of Portland's taxing authority provides reports to the elected official detailing emerging problems such this. The people responsible for the rules--the elected officials at the Multnomah county, Metro and the city of Portland--finally recognize it and told the tax collectors to apply a blanket one time abatement. Expect them to be good soldiers and apply the abatement. The right blame/credit point is the elected officials. They'd do well to reexamine whether the other parts of the penalty/interest structure help or hinder tax collection and/or cause other unintended consequences.

  3. You are wrong. The bureaucrats can certainly decide not to assert penalties. They can and do decide whom to audit and whom not to audit. They can refrain from spending time and money jerking somebody around for $2.96, the way they did me. The Portland revenue people are like all the rest of the arrogant bureaucrats in City Hall, or worse.


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