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Portland City Arts Tax (November 2012)

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A Portland City Arts Tax measure was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the city of Portland, which is in Multnomah and Clackamas counties, which are in Oregon, where it was approved.

This measure sought to implement a tax set at a rate of $35 per person living in the city. The tax would apply to any resident over the age of 18 who earns money and is above the federal poverty line.[1]


A resident of the city, Eric Fruits, had filed a petition with the local court to intervene because in his opinion the tax is not a income tax as city officials are stating but rather a head tax which is illegal under the Oregon Constitution. Fruits also issued complaints about the wording being unfair and bias, stating that there was no evidence that the tax would create programs which are high quality and stating that the tax is limiting is misleading as there is no sunset so there is no set end to the proposed tax.[1]

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge John A. Wittmayer has given a ruling on the issue, stating that the tax is not a head tax and therefore is not illegal. In his ruing he stated it is not illegal because, "it is assessed only upon income-earning individuals age 18 or older in households above the federal poverty guidelines.” Eric Fruits responded that in his opinion the issue was still not settled as it could still be challenged in November if it is approved.[2]

Election results

Portland City Measure 146
Approveda Yes 168,618 61.86%

Election results from Clackamas County, Current Election Results.

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall Portland restore arts, music for schools and fund arts through income tax of 35 dollars per year?[3]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Oregonian, "Two Portland residents challenge language used in city's proposed arts tax," July 12, 2012
  2. The Portland Tribune, "Judge clears way for art tax vote," August 16, 2012
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.