The arts tax Portlanders approved in 2012 is paying out some small sums to arts groups.
Portland’s Revenue Bureau said the initial collections would only pay for the public school art programs that the tax promised to fund first. But with that done, the city has now sent $200,000 left over to the Regional Arts and Culture Council. RACC’s Jeff Hawthorne says the council will give that cash to music, writing, theater and dance groups, among others.
“We believe public funding is an important part of the equation for these organizations that are really adding value for the communities where they’re based,” Hawthorne says.
RACC is dividing $150,000 among 44 groups it’s worked with before. Hawthorne says they all have solid fiscal track records. Other groups can apply for a pool of $26,000.
But RACC has also notified the recipient groups via email this is the last arts tax revenue payment they can expect until fall. That might indicate administrators aren’t feeling confident the city’s collections will yield enough for schools AND arts groups.