Portland hits seniors, low-income with $5M phone tax — now eye Cell-Tax!

Portland hits seniors, low-income with $5M phone tax — now eye Cell-Tax!
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

From the front page article in The Oregonian today:

“Fish said he supported the tax. He signaled that he hoped the future council will consider taking up the issue of wireless phone service….Jason Williams, executive director of the Taxpayers Association of Oregon, said he was disappointed by the council vote. “We’re concerned Portland just raised a multi-million dollar tax on seniors to pay for their legal bailout -for something that has nothing to do with phone service.” Williams said the increased rates to customers will unfairly impact seniors who rely on land-line phones. Speaking of the City Council members, Williams said, “To them it’s free money, but to seniors and low-income people it’s not.”

It is unfortunate enough that the Portland council just took $5 million from local phone users (primarily seniors, low-income, unemployed & others) , but they could not wait a mere day without mentioning  that they now want to go after cell-phone users with a brand new tax.

Taxes to Portland City Council are like those people who win a shopping prize where they have two minutes in a mad dash to fill their grocery cart with anything they can grab in the store — except in this case, they did not win a contest and neither the store nor the other shoppers want them around!!!   Portland area governments grabbed a half billion more in taxes from three taxes on the November ballot — but that is never enough.

Go here if you wish to stop future tax increases in Portland

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Posted by at 07:49 | Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    It’s almost useless to fight back in the city of Portland and Multnomah County. I spent four solid months going to various forums to tell Portlanders the Arts tax measure was not all that much about helping the “children” but more about establishing a new form of taxation, one not restrained by property tax rate limits. All of the major newspapers recommended without reservation a NO vote on the Arts measure. Yet the measure passed easily with over 60% of the vote. (It was a pretty unfair election, however, as the City of Portland funded indirectly through its surrogate charities the campaign in favor of the measure – the NO side having almost no funding by comparison,)

    I think the trend continues whereby Portland becomes a trophy city like San Francisco where governance is dominated by the rich and the poor, and those of middle means and fixed incomes (especially) are increasingly priced and coerced out of the City. The poor mostly on government assistance pay no net taxes (factoring in inkind subsidies). I suspect this is the course of affairs in the city of Portland and Multnomah.

    I guess the only thing to do is to concentrate on the 30 to 40% of the City electorate which actually votes against the evermore wasteful City and County government (more City than County). The more realistic individual solution is to relocate to maybe Clackamas county or a more fiscally conservative, less government region.

    Could be worse. Could be under the tyrant dictates of a Mayor Bloomberg and living in New York city (Outside of which its major league professional ball players live). But it could also be so much happier if the pace of governance were slowed (and more balance provided for) in stump town than is the past ten years or so of the Adams and Leonard governance.

  • Maximus

    I thought there are already cell taxes on my phone. I see it my bill.

  • scatcatpdx

    I have to disagree, after the “taker” election of 2012, I think service tax is a good thing. especially light of passing Measure 79 and 85 or do tax me but tax thee).

    Romney is right concerning the 47% who receive the most benefit but the lest tax burden and at the same time vote that the minority (i.e 20% rich) pay more taxes (see the dictatorship of 51%) . Therefore I see as moral that the least and the most share some of the tax burden. It is why I see the light in dropping income tax for a vat and sale tax, with no exceptions. If one want more government, then one need to pay more of the bill. Perhaps it should give pause for a person vote for the bribe giver if they know they will receive the bill too.

    • DavidAppell

      VAT and sales taxes are extremely regressive, and unfair. The wealthiest 1% own 35% of the wealth in the U.S., and the top 10% own 75% of it. The bottom 50%: 1%

      Source: “An Analysis of the Distribution of Wealth Across Households, 1989-2010,” Congressional Research Service
      (see especially Table 2)

      • scatcatpdx

        First your first statement is true but has no relationship your second statement on the percentage of wealth. If anything everybody would have to pay the same rate on purchases. regardless of wealth

        Frankly I can care less how much of the wealth they own it is their wealth as long as they gain it though trade and not theft. I find this obsession on wealth of others as envy and a sin that needs to be confessed. My God is only content that I be content with my wages and do not cheat others.

        • DavidAppell

          Why should taxes be paid on purchases, and not on wealth?

          What are the effects of wealth inequality on the social health of a society?

    • voterid

      I agree, people need to pay the price for their election choices. Why is it that some believe they shouldn’t have to pay a tax except for the people that have made something of themselves? The most destructive thing Obama has done to this country is make people jealous of each other.

      When people are jealous to the point of accepting and believing the propaganda from those who want to control them, they can’t get past their own greed. Look at what these little programmed robots of people say…and you can read the hate in their words…they are perfect examples of what hateful, rhetoric produces..

      Your words make sense, that’s why the liberals hate it…they don’t want to pay for their own choices…but Obama promised me blah, blah, blah….and who will have the last laugh?..ha ha ha

      • DavidAppell

        Are you seriously asking why those people who have wealth should pay more taxes than those who don’t have wealth?

        Please defend that position, morally.

        • jim karlock

          No David,
          why don’t explain the morality of forcing some people to pay millions while others pay hundreds or NOTHING!


          • DavidAppell

            The progressive tax system has long been considered fair in the United States.

            There isn’t a single person who pays no taxes — which include sales taxes, property taxes, gas taxes, payroll taxes, and many others.

  • How is it that the governments are “grabbing” the half-billion when it was the voters who approved the measure? Not that I like the idea of more taxes. Thankfully, I don’t live in Portland.

  • DavidAppell

    When English scientist Michael Faraday was asked, in 1850, about the practical value of electricity by William Gladstone, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, he replied, “One day sir, you may tax it.”

  • Richard Leonetti

    With this new tax a basic phone line will cost about $31.50 of which only $15. 00 is the actual cost of the phone service. The tax will exceed 100%!

  • sackbutt

    I am so done with the Sam Adams crowd…he is our own little Obama in disguise, tax,tax,tax your way out of everything, why else do we have these Occupy folks using their spare time needlessly instead of finding work, any kind of work, its out there for those that really want a job.

    • DavidAppell

      Obama is simply trying to return federal revenue to sanity. It currently stands at 17.0% of GDP, the lowest level since the late 1950s.

      When GW Bush took office, federal receipts stood at a hardly onerous 20.7% of GDP. Had they remained at that level through his administration, he could have paid off the entire debt — WITH $5 TRILLION LEFT OVER.

      Bush Jr. will be remembered as one of the most disastrous presidents in American history.

      • voterid

        Obama is simply trying to bankrupt this country! Obama said he could fix it (the economy) in 3 years, but needs 5 more years? Obama just doesn’t know how to do anything except campaign…guess what? The campaign is over and he’s still campaigning…
        So get over trying to blame George Bush for Obama’s lack of ability. Because the only thing Obama will go down in history for is being the worst, most unqualified president in history and will beat Jimmy Carter for the honor.

        • DavidAppell

          Baloney. Federal receipts are at lows not since since the 1950s — we need to raise them to contemporary levels.

          How long *should* it take for a country to recover from the greatest shock since the Great Depression? 3 years doesn’t seem the least bit sufficient….

      • guest

        D’ont sit under the Appell tree. The ‘brain-burn’ mushes logic and core-text gores on incredulously.

  • mike

    anyone stupid enough to have a land line should pay a tax.

  • Ralph

    So ditch the cell phone if it gets too expensive. While a cellphone is convenient it is still a luxury that one could actually live without and still survive. Personally I think there are much more important things to worry about than whether Grandpa can play Angry Birds and order a pizza at the same time. By the way I happen to be a senior and I don’t consider a cellphone tax to be an attack. I really don’t think most of us even give a crap because we were around before they were so prolific, lived without them then and if we have to we can live without them again.

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