We need a Metro kicker

I see that the Metro income tax, which was supposed to bring in $250 million a year to be thrown at the "homeless" problem in Portland and surrounding communities, is now expected to bring in nearly $1 billion more than originally budgeted over the next six years.

In 2021, the first year of the tax, Metro collected $240 million. In 2022, that number grew to $337 million. Metro estimates that for the fiscal year 2023, which ends in June 2024, the tax will bring in at least $357 million. Revenue is supposed to hold steady over the next six years.

Multiple billions, and how's it going so far? I'm driving around inner Portland and seeing the same apocalyptic nightmare I saw before this "tax the rich" scheme became law. In some ways, the situation has gotten worse. But a lot of nonprofit executive directors' mortgages are being paid, that we know.

When the State of Oregon collects more than budgeted in personal income tax, it's required to give the excess back to the taxpayers. We need a similar law for local income-based taxes. Otherwise, the cities, the counties, Metro, Tri-Met, the Port, and the rest will bleed us dry only to pour the blood down the usual rat holes.

And at both state and local levels, we need a taxpayers' bill of rights, so that when the revenuers show up at your door, they're not allowed to be absolute cutthroats, the way the City of Portland tax collectors tend to be.

Tell this to Kate Lieber (when she gets back from Portugal), Lew Frederick, and the other innocuous-looking people we send to Salem to represent us, but who inevitably sell us out at every turn. At election time, they coast to victory. But they shouldn't.


  1. If we are concerned about unfounded pension liabilities, why do we have any kickers at all? The money’s already been collected, there are huge liabilities already accrued — so why are we paddling backwards with the kicker all the time?

    1. If they want to put it toward proper funding of pensions, I'm all for it. That will never happen. Instead it will go to "harm reduction," "housing first," "public-private partrerships," aerial trams for fat cat doctors, and assorted other scams.

  2. The innocuous representation that gets sent to Salem and city hall can always count on softball media coverage. Not sure if the media coverage is a result of their consenting support or lazy incompetence.

  3. toying with moving outside of Metro's boundaries, but not sure if the tax still applies to 'Metro-sourced' income, i.e. where my vacant office lies downtown

  4. We need a Metro kick-you-out-a-here. Why do we have 3 overlapping governments that are constantly looking for new ways to burn through cash, but can't keep the streets paved, safe, and going somewhere?

  5. PGE gets its 17% rate hike approved starting January;

    I mean, sure, Seattle, Eugene & a park & Columbia county PUD all have less expensive power they mostly buy from BPA, anyway…


    Metro is bad & outdated in its way, but the PERS, Water Bureau, PPS /higher education upper management & former Enron scam private utility PGE money vacuum you really feel the walls closing in…

    Dismantling & prioritizing the worst of the public-private partnerships is one of the most under-discussed Gordian knots to even. *try* to untie, but also materially and politically a potential sell?
    Just no top of brain awareness en masse & organizing principle given the complexity?
    Better than standing around arguing (online) &/or protesting probably, however?

    1. Oh, and close the loophole that state mouse ticklers/fondlers can tickle a mouse in vantucky & not pay income tax…
      …that’s oregon based income/comes from our tax base…

  6. Yes, a kicker. And one for the preschool tax, too.


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