No Wonder Portland Can’t Afford to Maintain Streets

By John A. Charles, Jr.CascadeNewLogo

The Portland City Council seems determined to raise taxes to pay for street maintenance. But the City doesn’t have a revenue shortage problem; it has a spending misallocation problem, which continues to grow.

The latest example is a proposal to begin collecting and publicizing energy consumption data from about 1,000 of the largest commercial buildings in the city. This is being proposed as part of the city’s Quixotic attempt to “fight climate change.” Proponents claim soothing words that the regulation would “provide market recognition to those who perform really well” on some arbitrary energy consumption scorecard.

In fact, this is just an effort to shame building owners, managers, and tenants into adjusting their behavior to conform to the political edicts of City Hall. Commercial buildings consuming “too much” energy will receive a Scarlet Letter and be harassed by bureaucrats and activist groups into expensive energy conservation retrofits, many of which will make no financial sense.

The cost of city oversight? At least one full-time employee. This is why city streets are falling apart. Too many bureaucrats are pushing papers for programs that are irrelevant to the core functions of government. The Council should kill this idea before it goes any further.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.


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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Global Warming, Government Regulation, Green Energy, Portland, Portland Politics | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Portland is the City that works (you over).

    Maybe City Hall should look at itself and not bully other productive entities and persons. City Hall is pouring concrete everywhere and intensifying the City’s heat sink. It also runs the Portland City building which leaks money and energy in elevated levels.

  • guest

    Spot on and write on!

    “Portland – the City That Works” – sic, [hapless] citizens over and over again!]
    D’oh! Sales-sin taxes are detestable, butt still avoidable – e.g., toke in the City of Ashland, OR and their shake-down sphering local festival drawing tin foil thousands’ of money ins tourists into their coffers.
    Here in Potland, what’s to refer to?
    How about a Native American tribal casino established at the MC Glass Palace – endowed to pay in appreciative wampum for civic projects in progress, sans making a silk PERS an operative cash cow?
    Selah, maybe? Snot a chance so long archaic pocket doping civic interests prevail.

  • Jack Lord God

    Do these guys just have a giant dartboard of idiocy where whatever space the missile lands is the inane project of the week?

  • CherryAnn1000

    We have the same exact problem in Salem. Plenty of revenue, but a council and mayor who are hell bent on frittering it away on idiocy. They haven’t suggested a road tax yet, but if Portland gets one, I suspect we’ll not be far behind. Citizens of Portland–don’t be silent! Speak up and speak out against the continued ruination of the tax paying citizen by those who are supposed to work for us.

  • NAFTA Refugee

    You’re on a drowning ship. You have a life raft and room for four items. Which four do you pick?

    Respondent A: I know! Let’s start a new project!

    Respondent B: Pudding!

    Respondent C: That’s Racist!!

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