Taxpayers Win Right to Vote on Street Tax


A coalition of small business owners, Portland taxpayers and radio host Victoria Taft (heard on KPAM) commend Mayor Potter for demanding that Commissioner Sam Adams send his street tax measure to the Portland voters.

Lila Leathers, owner of Leathers Fuels in Portland and Chief Petitioner on the Street Tax Referendum made the following statement:

“I would like to thank Mayor Potter for convincing the Portland City Council to refer to street tax measure to the voters of the city,” said Leathers.

“The OPA consists of local business people who live and work in Portland. We are not “˜big oil’, and assertions by some Council members to the contrary are merely political statements designed to rally support for their position. Many of our members have been in business in this city for over 100 years. Others are newcomers to our country and have bought a stake in the future. They work long hours for little money with the hope of expanding their business that they own into something that they can be proud of. They have to question every penny that they spend, and they expect their elected officials to do the same,” said Leathers.

Jason Williams of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon made the following statement:

“Commissioner Sam Adams took every action to prevent the people of the City of Portland from voting on this significant tax, showing an absolute lack of respect for the Portland voters. Thankfully, Mayor Potter stepped in to demand a vote. Contrary to some assertions at the Portland City Council, the referendum process enshrined in the Oregon Constitution is an essential part of our government, giving the People a way to question the actions of their elected officials,” said Williams.

Victoriat Taft commented “Once again the Portland City Council has crashed headlong into the will of “real” Portland voters; not the politically hand picked committees of “stakeholders.” Portland’s commissioners have overplayed their hand in order to keep this issue out of the hands of the the voters — the city’s real stakeholders. Thanks to Mayor Potter for doing the right thing and allowing them their say.”

  • Jason Williams

    I wanted to add that it was very special to see Mayor Tom Potter make such a populist stance by requesting that the people have a right to vote on such a massive ($460 million) tax that affects so many Portlanders. The same goes for the Oregonian Editorial Board which gave a a solid defense of letting voters decide in Tuesday’s newspapers.

    Allowing voters to participate will go a long ways to help build trust and confidence by the citizens in their City Government.

    • TR

      And then there was Randy Leonard who shot off his mouth after the vote stating that he believes he was placed in to office to be a socialist dictator. It only demonstrates his true significance – a wind bag full of hot air that no longer represents the mainstream of the citizens of Portland.

  • Bob Clark

    Thanks also to the Oregon Taxpayers Association and Jason Williams. Maybe Jason’s our good cop, and Victoria Taft is our hammering, good looking cop. And Don is of course, “666.” Good show last night.


    I was impressed by Tom Potter’s stance, very happy the people get to vote on half a Billion dollars worth of tax increase.

    If the plan is fair and doesn’t spend a disproportionate amount of of the revenue on bike infrastructure as opposed to roads I’ll probably vote for it.

    It will also need a guarantee of some kind that Adams and Leonard will not be able to “Re-direct” the revenue elsewhere. As well as a clause that they won’t be able to continually “Move Back” the cut-off date as the have with the Urban Renewal funding.

    I know its a lot to ask them to write-in items to guarantee their honesty but their past and present decisions forced it.

  • anon

    % of fee for biking and walking infrastructure: about 6%
    % of trips taken by biking and walking: about 12%
    % of people who can’t drive: 25%


      Lol, from the people I see on the road, about 50% can’t drive 😉

      I think your biking and walking may be higher since they will have to produce infrastructure to support the proposed pedestrian bridge. The bridge is federally funds according to Sam but all the bike and walking paths will have to be paid for by the taxpayers.

      Anything that is built also needs to be maintained afterwards and I see know plan for maintenance past the life of the tax.

      There is a lot of questions in this proposal that are currently left unanswered.

      • dean

        Dude…YOU are going to vote YES on a tax? Someone call 911. I just fell off my chair.

        • CRAWDUDE

          Lol, you saw the conditions I have in the earler post. I will consider voting for it if I feel those are met. I wholely aware that the city needs money for street maintenance, before I were to sign on to this proposal I want to be sure ALL the money is going to to this project and the details of it…………the devil is always in the details, lol!

          Hey, I’m also for getting rid of the income tax and going to a sales tax.

          Taxes aren’t bad, its what corrupt politicians do with them that is. There is so much waste from influence peddling and pandering in this state that they won’t need more tax money if they managed the revenue correctly.

          The city is the same way, Bud Clark set aside 18 million a year for road maintenance but Vera Katz re-directed it to pet projects, which is why we are in this boat today. If I see a concrete guarantee that this money is primaily going to automobile infrastructure and cannot be re-directed elsewhere, there’s a good chance I’ll vote Yes.

          Its up to the politicians to make it a worthwhile proposal now 🙂

          I hope you don’t have hardwood floors;)

          • dean

            CD…fortunately a carpet in my office, Doug fir elsewhere. I’m okay now. Your conditions of an ironclad guarentee will never be met so I can breathe more easily.

            On corruption, you are so spoiled. You should have grown up in Chicago as I did. Our family business had to hand over cash in envelopes to police, health, building, and other inspectors. Only the Fire department was clean. And we had to pay the local Mafia to leave us alone.

            Portland is a liberal boy scout camp by comparison.

          • Dave Lister

            I think good old fashioned cash-in-the-envelope corruption would be refreshing. The corruption we have here is so much more devious. The usual suspects continue to fleece the public in the name of “smart growth” and “sustainability”. And the lemmings keep voting in their stooges.

          • dean

            Dave…there must be a lot of lemmings in these parts…and nationally. Portland is not the only place pursuing these things. Why even Chicago, my kinda town, has more eco roofs than anywhere outside Germany and is competing with Portland to be America’s sustainability capital.

            Of course…in Chicago one probably has to pay off the eco roof inspector.

  • Terry Parker

    The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and other freeloading bicyclist representatives that continually want somebody other than themselves to pay for bicycle infrastructure, the streetcar junkies that want snail rail congesting every arterial street at the expense of the taxpayers and motorists; and the irrational anti-car nuts that want to control how people move about were all invited as an ill-conceived stacked deck faction to be at the table on the much ballyhooed and elitist stakeholder committee. Representatives for these groups out numbered the taxpaying motor vehicle and freight interests by three to one. Was the OPA even invited to participate at this table as they should have been?