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Portland Commissioners Veto Mayor's Business Tax Hike


Portland Commissioner Nick Fish said today he will not support the mayor’s proposed business tax increase — all but dooming the idea.

Portland has a budget surplus this year, but the cost of providing city services is also rising.

In his budget, Mayor Charlie Hales proposed a small increase in the city business tax to raise about $9 million for programs like pay increases for police officers.

Commissioners Steve Novick and Dan Saltzman came out against the tax increase immediately.



And now Fish has joined them in opposition. In a council work session Tuesday, he said the council has recently asked the business community to shoulder other new costs, due to laws requiring paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage.

“One of the things that I’m hearing from the community, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back syndrome,” he said.

Fish urged the mayor to quickly develop a new budget that doesn’t include the business tax increase now that it’s apparent he lacks the vote needed to pass this version.


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