Portland to amend arts tax ordinance

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by Mike Benner, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 8:01 PM

PORTLAND -- Portland city leaders plan to make changes to the arts tax ordinance.  This comes months after voters passed the ordinance.

In November Portlanders voted in favor of an ordinance that called for anyone in a household above the poverty line to pay a $35 annual arts tax.  The money would help pay for schools and arts programs.

It was not until recently that city leaders realized the ordinance would have a negative impact on teenagers who make a small amount of money for dog-sitting, for example. 

The way the ordinance is written says a teenager who makes $10 for dog-sitting or other jobs would have to pay the $35 tax.  City leaders said that cannot be allowed.

"Nobody intended it to be so silly as to say that somebody who didn't make $35 last year should pay the $35," said the mayor's spokesperson Dana Haynes.

Next week the city council will talk about an emergency ordinance.  The ordinance will say that an individual has to make at least $1,000 to pay the $35 tax.

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