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Think Out Loud

An Update On The Portland Arts Tax

Credit: Robert Cacho Toca / Creative Commons

Credit: Robert Cacho Toca / Creative Commons

Portland residents are expected to pay a $35 per person arts tax by April 15. But if last year is any indication, it’s likely many people will miss the deadline this year. About 150,000 people didn’t pay the tax that was due on tax day in 2013. The city doesn’t have immediate plans to recover that revenue, but it says it may rely on debt collectors in the future to go after serial tax dodgers.

The revenue from the arts tax is supposed to be used to hire arts and music teachers in six Portland-area school districts. Any funds left over after the schools get their share are supposed to go to non-profit arts organizations, but due to the low collection rates, those non-profits have not received nearly as much money as they were expecting.


  • Thomas Lannom: Director of the Portland Revenue Bureau
  • Eloise Damrosch: Executive Director of the Regional Arts and Culture Council
arts portland education taxes

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