Cars in the Crosshairs: No to Car Tax. Portland City Council Meeting this Morning. Be There. WITH UPDATE**

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I and several other 5th Listeners (there may have been more upstairs) attended the City Council meeting to be heard about the car tax and were told there would be not testimony. More below:

When I asked Sam Adams why before the meeting began he said it was because it was a second reading of the ordinance. When I asked him how that could be since he had just combined the three separate ordinances and changed the language at the behest of the petroleum industry just last week, he told me that, while true, the entire time that political battle waged the one ordinance was always on the agenda. Well, the media missed it and I did too. Sam’s finagling with the rules wins again. And you, taxpayers, you lose. They voted to pass the tax.
If I’d been allowed to testify, this is what I would have said:

Good Morning, my name is Victoria Taft, I live in the City of Portland and am a radio talk show host on KPAM 860.
I’m here today as a citizen to urge you to reconsider and please say “no” to this tax today and begin looking inside the city budget for money to be able to repair roads and streets.
Commissioners say that for 15 years road repair and maintenance has been allowed to languish and now it has reached a critical mass…so you need to do something now.
I don’t doubt for a minute that the city has allowed the roads to degrade. There are some potholes out there that could swallow small children.
But let’s be clear here.
The money that previously was used for street maintenance has been spent elsewhere.
You, and the commissioners before you, chose to spend that money on other things.
Even your recent $34,000,000 surplus isn’t being used to fill any potholes or fix any roads.
You’ve chosen to spend money on—among other things– a statue in homage to a group that flouts the law every week…the Zoobombers…
You’ve had money to spend on tax abatements, subsidies, streetcars, pissoirs for drunks, paying the rent for illegal aliens, acting as a matchmaker between illegal aliens and employers who hire them illegally, gridlock inducing bike boxes, and the so called “voter owned elections” which you didn’t see fit to allow the voters to vote on.
And don’t get me started on the tram.
Now you—The city commissioners—in the guise of maintaining the streets—want to have a hand in choosing the kinds of cars we drive, how much we drive them, and –for that intrusion—stick us with a bill every month …a billing change which will cost –in your estimation—$14 million more.
Those billing costs alone would fill 200,000 potholes.
This money will be used for much more than street maintenance…it will go yet again to fund more of the city commissioners’ pet projects.
Out of a $3 billion dollar budget you’d think you’d have found a few shekels to spend on road maintenance.
Now you say you want us to trust you…that THIS time you’ll spend the money correctly.
Please say “no” to this extraordinary interference in the lives of Portlanders, please say “no” to this unprecedented tax or— at the very least…let Portlanders vote on this tax increase.

The City Council today takes up Sam Adams’ “Safe, Sound and Green Streets Proposal,” otherwise known as the CAR TAX.
If this were just another tax you might suck it up and pay it, but Sam comes after cars with both guns blazing by charging each household a monthly fee (which costs the city an additional
$14,000,000.00 to do –because the tax would be added to your water bill which would now go from quarterly to monthly) with businesses being charged by the square foot and both being assessed a certain amount of car trips per month. If you drive a certain kind of car, such as a Toyota PIOUS, you’ll get a rebate, if you don’t you’ll pay more. If you take mass transit you get a rebate; if you don’t as much you’ll pay more. What does mass transit and miles per gallon have to do with road maintenance? Add to this the sister measure by Multnomah County of assessing a car registration fee and the state’s interest in increasing the gas tax and you begin to understand that this isn’t just about fixing the back log of street repairs, this is an assault on the car. It begins to make it the city and county’s business what kind of car you drive, how much, and charging you for it.

ssing cars a use fee for using the streets is already done through gas taxes, registration fees, licensing, and DEQ.

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12 thoughts on “Cars in the Crosshairs: No to Car Tax. Portland City Council Meeting this Morning. Be There. WITH UPDATE**

  1. Now comes the question of when Sam Adams is going to try to somehow tax those who live and work in Clark County and who deign to come to Portland to a show, one of the malls, to either of the race tracks, to a Blazers game, or for whatever reason. But you can bet that he will try!

  2. 4 bucks, a year, thats less than two gallons of gas, 100 miles in my VW. I’ll pay it, gladly to fix the holes that cause 800 bucks worth of damage driving over. Oh Wait, Sam is Democrat, we hate everything he does….. Silly logic. Hyperbole is for the old conservative thinking, not the new way.

  3. and when he tells you what kind of car to drive and how much it will cost and you have to spend–who knows–in additional car registrations, don’t say you weren’t warned.

  4. I seem to remember Benton County a few years ago tried to tack on an additional Car tax on the local DMV and found out that they had to do it at the State Level. Of course Multnomah County is really the 51st state.

    Ps: How bout that “Jon MaKane” victory last night in Florida.
    Wow, and Now Liberal Rudy endorses
    Jon MaKane

  5. cnskate said…
    Silly logic. Hyperbole is for the old conservative thinking, not the new way.

    You got that right. We need more of the “new way” of thinking that the people who live here are an endless source of money to cover the Shi**y Council’s mistakes.

    Since you are so generous, mind if I send you my tax bill this year?

  6. Cnskate

    Thanks to Mr. Adams..

    He wants me to pay $4.54 a month to pay to a city a fee to use something that I already pay a fee to the State for the “privilege” to operate as a mode of transportation. But I live in a Apartment building that would now pay $307.25 a month. Hence I have been told to expect that my RENT is now going to go up to allow them to pay for their fee. Its Silly Hyperbole Progressive logic there.. I get double taxed to use MY car. Just how much money do you expect people to pay to the City in the face of a looming ressesion?

  7. Scottiebill said…
    If Sam Adams gets this “Car Tax” passed without a vote of the people, he can kiss his chances of being mayor goodbye.

    I disagree. Portland has shown again and again that they are gullible and stupid. Sam and Co are still there after the last election.

    The bootlickers who show up and pack every Council meeting mark those days on the calendar in the same color they mark welfare and other freebie check dates. What are taxes to them, when they don’t pay them, or get money back?

  8. Tromatic could be right. Time will tell, to quote a very trite truism. But one would like to think that Portland has enough right thinking voters who will tell Sam to back off.

    Victoria: Tommy the Irrelevant allowed his grand-daughter to address the City Council with her little speech touting gay marriage and a short, off-the-subject broadside against President Bush. What is unconscionable to me is that he wouldn’t allow the tax payers to voice their opinions about Sam’s Car Tax, because this was supposedly a “second reading” of the measure. What Bulls**t! They want to push through their ultra liberal agenda without hearing from the people. The City Council hasn’t yet figured out that this is the 21st century in the U.S., not 18th century England or the 20th century Soviet Union, where the reigning king or dictator imposed taxes on the populace and to hell with what the people thought. It is crap like this that led to the French Revolution in the 1790s. Someone said years ago that those who ignore history are destined to repeat it (or words to that effect). Hopefully, this next time without the guillotine.

    Also, do you really think that Potter’s grand-daughter really wrote that little speech? I believe that it was written for her by one of her moms, probably Tommy’s daughter with a lot of input from Tommy. An eight-year-old surely wouldn’t know M.L. King from Adam if she didn’t have a lot of help in her dissertation and a lot of coaching prior to her little presentation yesterday.

    Anyway, the people of Portland will surely thank you for trying to speak to the Council. But I’ll bet you had, at least, some idea that you would be rebuffed by Tommy and the Toadies by any one of their standard fabricated reasons.

  9. I think what would be interesting is to really see numbers (without spin) that compare the costs of driving a car that the government pays for, to the money being collected in gas tax and vehicle registration.

    We can go to all toll roads.
    Toll can be some combination of vehicle weight and type of tires.
    But we should leave some non paved paths for people who can’t afford the sidewalk toll (which should be way less than the road toll but not 0).

    How about if the city of Portland sells the roads to private companies. The companies can then charge for their use.
    Suppose every other street was owned by Company A, and the others by Company B. One could choose the company they wanted to use.

    They could even choose to charge way more during certain hours of the day.
    It would be completely up to the private, for profit, company.

    OR I could take my eileen-O-centric view of the world and be completely in favor of this tax.
    I don’t own a car.
    And as tromatic once pointed out to me “soon I will realize that what is good for me is good for my neighbor”.

  10. I don’t know if I am mad, sad, or just sorely disappointed in the morons that are elected into office….or are they? Tom Potter and the clan that runs the city should be prosecuted for mismanagement of taxpayers dollars. My 21 years in the Air Force taught me some very good lessons….Don’t mismanage public money…if you are punished for it.

    As far as Sam Adams…reminds me of the beer…let’s tax the bikes…I would like to see a bike registration fee for those that use their “green” means of transportation to get to work. And on top of that…I want their bikes to meet the national safety standards for automobiles since they share the same roads…oh – and parking garages for bikes … no more of this free bike racks and lock ups.

    And my last note….let’s follow the advice of Tom Potter’s 8 year old granddaugther and have a “redo” of the Portland City Concil..

  11. I 10:29: You may have something here. Maybe all bikes should be “street legal” before allowing them out on the streets. Two operable headlights with high and low beams, stoplights that work when the brakes are applied, full fenders to keep down the splash and spray on rainy days, seatbelts for each rider, speedometers, disc and/or drum brakes on both wheels, working windshield wipers, etc. And valid license plates mounted front and back. And we mustn’t forget valid drivers licenses for all operators of said bicycles, illegal aliens excluded, of course.

    Then the bike riders can all be assessed Sam’s Tax like the drivers of cars. Without their vote in the usual style of the City Council.

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