Previous Street Tax bad news for Portland

butler-tomBy Tom Butler,
Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Over a decade ago, the Ontario, Oregon City Council passed its own version of a city street maintenance tax. You know, one of those “good taxes” that you never have to pay, but someone else pays it for you! 100% of the new hotel/motel tax would pay for all of the deferred street improvements while the city residents sat back happily enjoying better streets and no pain.

Today, not a dime of the hostelry tax is spent on Ontario’s streets – which shouldn’t surprise anyone! The decade-long dispute over where the street maintenance tax money was spent has filled with “exceptions” our required annual municipal audit reports. Some money may go to policing the weedy streets. Some may be in the fire department budget who also have to navigate crumbling streets.

The streets themselves…? About the same as they were before City Hall landed on the perfect solution!