This Week in the Mercury

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Monday, April 15, 2013

No, Today is NOT the Day the Arts Tax is Due—It's May 15!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Since a bunch of people I talked to over the weekend still all thought Portland's new arts tax was due on tax day, maybe because notices saying otherwise didn't start arriving in mailboxes until this weekend (or maybe because you don't follow the arts tax on Twitter), consider this a friendly reminder: The deadline for paying your $35 has been moved to May 15.

As we and nearly every other outlet reported last month, the deadline moved after Portland City Council agreed to add a $1,000 minimum income—a change that took effect only as of May 3. Previously, the tax applied to anyone who earned any income in 2012, provided they lived in a household above the federal poverty threshold.

The arts tax, meanwhile, has also been besieged by legal issues—is it a head tax?—and persistent complaints that it's not progressive enough. Mayor Charlie Hales has directed the city's revenue bureau to come back with suggested changes this summer. Those headaches could mean that millions meant for arts teachers and expanded access for low-income kids at city arts institutions winds up thrown into Portland's version of Free Parking while everything gets sorted out.

Meaning: If you've waited this long to decide whether to ignore the thing, you've got another month to make up your mind.

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