Salem gets it right, for once

The obnoxious proposal by the City of Portland to evade the property tax limits in the state Constitution by forming a new "taxing district" for basic park maintenance has died, at least for now, in the state legislature. 

Apparently, a couple of outfits stepped up at a hearing on the proposal and pointed out that it's illegal. Jack Ruby of the Weed has the details here.

[T]wo groups, the Special Districts Association of Oregon and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, objected to the bill, although for different reasons.

Mark Landauer, a lobbyist for SDAO, told lawmakers the bill provided an end-run around current property tax limits and would create a precedent for all kinds of new taxing districts....

Felicita Monteblanco, president of the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District board, said her group, the state’s largest parks district, opposed Portland’s bill because the proposed parks district would lack independence from City Hall....

“Oregon already has several areas of statute that address the formation and governance of parks and recreation special districts that can and already do support parks and recreation in the Portland area,” Monteblanco testified. “These statutes provide for special districts to be formed within city boundaries; however, they call for a very clear governance model–independent elected boards focused solely on the park and recreation district’s mission.”

Of course, circumventing the Constitution is a City of Portland specialty. Look at the city's infernal arts "income" tax, a $35-a-head tax with a low-income exemption. That's not a head tax, according to the state's highest court. And so all the city needs to do is set up another, similar tax – say, $100 a head every year for parks (or whatever dollar amount per head they need). It will pass with flying colors, and assuming some low-income folks are let off the hook, it will be perfectly legal. 

They'll be back, in one form or another. The arrogance never rests.

Meanwhile, it's still dark in several of the parks. No lights. Sheesh.


  1. So when the last person leaves there will be no lights to turn off. One problem solved in the city that works.

  2. What are your thoughts on 26-238? The end-around for the ban on real estate transfer taxes. Would apply to capital gains on houses and other capital assets to pay for eviction lawyers and more.

  3. Keep voting for the Dims and keep getting only one solution to every problem, more taxes. Anybody see a solution to this never ending loop?


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