The city has yet again extended the "deadline" to pay the insidiously regressive "arts" tax, as their website - and preferred method for handling payments - crashed yesterday, which was formerly the "deadline". The initial deadline was April 15, then it was extended to May 15, and now it's extended until further notice. Doubtless, they'll tweak this turkey some more in the interim, as they've already decided to refund any payments made by state and federal pensioners after finding out that it's illegal to charge them. Before the city re-extended the deadline, Willamette Week noted:
For those of you keeping score at home, the $35-a-person Portland arts tax is due today—the deadline moved back a month after the city had trouble getting money from people without computers, couldn't get debit-card payments to work, changed the exemptions twice, offered refunds, and was sued in two courts.
The civil trial in the first of those lawsuits, filed by Lewis & Clark Law School professor and retired blogger Jack Bogdanski, will start in earnest next Wednesday in Oregon Tax Court.
This thing could well go entirely belly-up before the city decides exactly when its next deadline for payment is going to be. The city's moved to dismiss, and so their legal beagles and the tax law professor will spend some time presenting oral arguments May 22. It doesn't seem likely that the city's going to prevail on this one; would a guy who makes his living teaching tax law to up-and-coming lawyers be likely to challenge the tax if he wasn't fairly certain of his facts?