Results for Think Out Loud (Other Results)

Tax Fraud in Oregon

The Oregon Department of Revenue is working on regaining public trust after failing to catch the largest tax fraud in state history. State officials discovered Krystle Reyes's $2.1 million fraud after Reyes reported her debit card had been lost or stolen. The department determined that four employees were responsible for the enormous oversight. Department director Jim Bucholz elected to reprimand the employees rather than firing any of them, citing advice he received from labor lawyers about the situation.  In his recent testimony before a legislative committee, Bucholz highlighted the fact that Oregon's Department of Revenue has caught more and more tax fraud cases every year. The reason for the increase is unclear, but it's part of a national trend.

Segmentarticle - Sept. 18, 2012

Proposed Portland Arts Tax

On Wednesday, the Portland City Council will vote on whether to refer the Arts Education and Access Fund to the November ballot. The $35 citywide income tax would apply to all Portlanders over the age of 18 whose incomes are above the federal poverty level. If voters approve the tax in November, it's expected to raise about $8 million in the first year and $12 million per year after that. A little over half of the money would go towards funding arts and music programs in Portland area elementary schools. The remainder would go the the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) which would choose local arts organizations to receive a portion of the funds. If it passes, the arts tax levy would likely join at least two other tax levies on the November ballot. Multnomah County is considering a library levy and Portland Public Schools may put another levy before voters as well. Oregonians have a mixed record when it comes to voting on local income taxes. Multnomah County voters approved an income tax in 2003, but Eugene residents voted down a citywide income tax for school funding this past May.

Segmentarticle - June 26, 2012

Gas Tax Alternative

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a new pilot program to create a way to tax drivers of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Gas tax revenue has decreased as more drivers choose fuel-efficient vehicles or electric cars that don't use gas at all. Oregon and other states have been looking at ways to charge people for road usage based on the miles they travel rather than how much gas they buy.  ODOT scrapped a similar pilot program in 2009 because its dependence on a GPS device raised the hackles of privacy advocates. The new system would offer a GPS option if drivers choose to track their mileage with their cell phones. But they can also choose other types of devices like those used by pay-as-you-drive insurance companies that sync with a car's odometer and don't use GPS at all.

Segmentarticle - June 18, 2012

Arts Tax Measure

The Creative Advocacy Network is asking Portlanders to pass a ballot measure that would result in a flat $35 income tax to fund arts programs in schools and nonprofit arts organizations. A little over half of the money would go to Portland area elementary schools to fund arts and music programs. The remainder would go the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) which would distribute the money among local arts organizations and education programs*. Back in June when the city council voted to refer the measure to voters, Mayor Sam Adams came on our show to advocate for the tax. He said, When we look at the dearth of arts and music offerings in elementary schools, it's an affordable thing that we can do. There is no organized opposition to the Portland arts tax, but there are plenty of skeptics. Opponents take issue with the fact that the tax is regressive. Economist Eric Fruits is also quick to point out that it's unclear how the funds would be distributed to arts organizations and how those funds that don't go directly to schools would benefit education.

Segmentarticle - Oct. 22, 2012

Estate Tax Measure

This November, Oregonians will vote on a proposal that phases out existing inheritance taxes on large estates, and all taxes on intra-family property transfers.  Ballot Measure 84 (pdf) is backed by Kevin Mannix who is the chief petitioner and vocal supporter. The main coalition opposed to the ballot measure is Defend Oregon, a group made up of individuals and organizations who want to keep the estate tax alive in Oregon.

Segmentarticle - Oct. 8, 2012

County Votes For Big Intel Tax Break Package

We'll talk with OPB reporter Conrad Wilson about the history leading up to the deal that just passed and what it could mean for the future of the region.

Segmentarticle - Aug. 27, 2014

Oregon Cities Weigh Local Pot Taxes Ahead of November Vote

If recreational marijuana is legalized in Oregon, some cities want to cash in by taxing it at the local level.

Segmentarticle - Sept. 19, 2014

An Update On The Portland Arts Tax

Portland residents are expected to pay a $35 per person arts tax by April 15.

Segmentarticle - April 2, 2014

How Property Taxes Are Influencing The Housing Market

According to a new report from the Northwest Economic Research Center, Oregon's property tax system is skewing the housing market.

Segmentarticle - March 19, 2014

Wind Energy Tax Credit Expires

We'll explore the effect of the recent expiration of the federal wind energy tax credit, and the role that subsidies play in energy production more broadly.

Segmentarticle - Jan. 3, 2014

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