Education | News

City, Schools Reach Deal On Arts Tax Quandary

OPB | May 13, 2013 5:31 p.m. | Portland

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Portland leaders say they reached a deal Monday with the city’s school districts on how to manage the legal uncertainty surrounding a new arts tax.

Critics of the tax have filed two lawsuits. Both allege the tax is an illegal “head tax.”

Under the agreement, Mayor Charlie Hales says the city’s six school districts will get $3 million in November. That’s half the money schools expected.

Arts organizations would not get any money until after the legality of the tax has been determined, according to a city spokesman.

The city’s deal includes a plan in case the courts decide the tax is illegal.

The risk would be split several ways: one million from the city of Portland’s contingency fund, one million from future regional arts spending, and one million from the city’s six school districts.

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