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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

BREAKING: Jack Bogdanski Still Fighting Portland's Arts Tax

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Jul 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Perhaps with a flair for timing, law professor and erstwhile blogger Jack "Bojack" Bogdanski has made good on his promise to keep on battling Portland's arts tax.

City Attorney James Van Dyke, during this afternoon's work session on fixing the tax, announced that Bogdanski is appealing an Oregon Tax Court ruling that said it lacked jurisdiction over the $35-per-income-earner levy. But Van Dyke, noting the defeat of a separate court challenge casting the arts tax as an illegal head tax, was confident.

"I feel our position is incredibly solid," he crowed in spite of himself.

I'd already asked Bogdanski for comment before Van Dyke's announcement, after hearing him mutter to Revenue Bureau director Thomas Lannom, before the work session, about someone "filing today" unexpectedly and not at the end of a 60-day window. I'll update if I hear back from Bogdanski.

Van Dyke was joined by Commissioner Nick Fish in his optimism that the tax would continue to withstand legal challenges. (Van Dyke did also suggest that making the tax more progressive would help that cause.)

But Commissioner Steve Novick was quick with a potentially applicable bromide, noting how resounding victories in one court can sometimes turn into resounding defeats in higher courts:

"As Yogi said, 'It ain't over 'til it's over.'"

Update 3:15 PM: And for all you wonks out there, here's the 39-slide PDF that details the council's options. Check out the collections agency bits!

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