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Portland Arts Tax Dodgers May End Up With Collectors

OPB | March 26, 2014 11:16 a.m. | Updated: March 26, 2014 1:54 p.m. | Portland

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About 150,000 Portlanders have not paid the 2013 arts tax. The city’s revenue bureau knows who you are and still expects the money.

In 2012, voters approved a tax to fund arts and music education. Last year’s deadline to pay the arts tax has passed, but the city’s revenue bureau will waive the penalty if residents pay the $35 within 30 days of receiving a notice from the city.

The deadline to pay the arts tax is April 15. Nearly all Portlanders 18 years and older are required to pay the yearly tax.

Thomas Lannom is the director of the Portland Revenue Bureau. He says people who have not paid the tax will be referred to debt collectors.

There would be no referral to a collection agency until 2015 at the earliest. We would not refer anyone to a collection agency for $35 or even $70. Potentially, people would be referred after multiple unpaid years of the arts tax.

Lannom says the low compliance is normal in part because it’s a new tax.

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