Taxpayer Association of Oregon
(503) 603-9009   
PO Box 23573 Tigard OR 9728

Portland City Council has stated they will reverse themselves
and let voters vote on the $460 million street tax this November election!

In January, Portland City Council passed a $460 million street tax and refused to let the public vote on it. A coalition of industry, business, and taxpayer organizations along with the Taxpayer Association launched a “Right to Vote” referendum campaign and succeeded in getting the City to freeze the new tax. Portland, under pressure, has decided to allow the street tax to be decided by voters this Novmeber.

We will need help stopping this tax, and otehr taxes Portland City Council plans to pass.

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Taxpayers Win Right to Vote on Street Tax
by Jason Williams Thursday, February 7. 2008

A coalition of small business owners, Portland taxpayers and radio host Victoria Taft (heard on KPAM) commend Mayor Potter for demanding that Commissioner Sam Adams send his street tax measure to the Portland voters.

Lila Leathers, owner of Leathers Fuels in Portland and Chief Petitioner on the Street Tax Referendum made the following statement:

“I would like to thank Mayor Potter for convincing the Portland City Council to refer to street tax measure to the voters of the city,” said Leathers.

“The OPA consists of local business people who live and work in Portland. We are not ‘big oil’, and assertions by some Council members to the contrary are merely political statements designed to rally support for their position. Many of our members have been in business in this city for over 100 years. Others are newcomers to our country and have bought a stake in the future. They work long hours for little money with the hope of expanding their business that they own into something that they can be proud of. They have to question every penny that they spend, and they expect their elected officials to do the same,” said Leathers.

Jason Williams of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon made the following statement:

“Commissioner Sam Adams took every action to prevent the people of the City of Portland from voting on this significant tax, showing an absolute lack of respect for the Portland voters. Thankfully, Mayor Potter stepped in to demand a vote. Contrary to some assertions at the Portland City Council, the referendum process enshrined in the Oregon Constitution is an essential part of our government, giving the People a way to question the actions of their elected officials,” said Williams.

Victoriat Taft commented "Once again the Portland City Council has crashed headlong into the will of "real" Portland voters; not the politically hand picked committees of "stakeholders." Portland's commissioners have overplayed their hand in order to keep this issue out of the hands of the the voters -- the city's real stakeholders. Thanks to Mayor Potter for doing the right thing and allowing them their say."


"The city has mis-spent millions of tax dollars on the tram, street cars ,light rails and other expensive non-car projects and have neglected roads all these years. Taxpayers are now being punished for the city's problems." - Don McIntire, President Taxpayer Association of Oregon.

Contact:          Jason Williams, Taxpayer Association of Oregon
Telephone:     503.603.9009
January 31, 2008


A coalition of small business owners and Portland taxpayers will seek to refer the Street Maintenance Tax passed today by the Portland City Council to the Portland voters. The coalition includes small convenience stores including the Korean American Grocery Retailer Association, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, Oregonians for Prosperity, gas station owners, transportation critics Jim Karlock of Saveportland.org, Craig Flynn of ORTEM, among other groups and citizen activists...and also including aerial support from radio host Victoria Taft (featured on KPAM 860) and radio host Lars Larson (featured on KXL 750). Taft is especially noted because she was declined the right to testify on the street tax before City Council (must read story here).

 Jason Williams, founder of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, made the following statement on the referral:

 “The city of Portland has once again turned to City taxpayers to dig them out of a long history of fiscal irresponsibility.  Commissioner Sam Adams has worked at the City since 1991, yet has failed in over 15 years with the City to use previously dedicated road maintenance funds to fix Portland’s roads.  Our elected officials have shirked their own responsibility and put pet projects like the OHSU Tram and the Street Car in front of essential transportation needs like fixing potholes and improving intersections. Portlanders should have the right to decide whether to make small businesses and homeowners pay to clean up the city council’s own mess. The people deserve the final say on this issue.”

 Coalition members also cited the political games and Commissioner Adams’ “bait & switch” tactics.   They cited Adams’ attempt to prevent a public vote on his tax by dividing the one ordinance into three separate ordinances, successfully doubling the cost of a referral effort.

 “Adams cited the City Attorney’s opinion recommending he divide the ordinances into three to prevent a ‘single subject’ legal challenge, which we later found out was completely fabricated,” said Lila Leathers, who owns Leathers Fuels in Portland.

 “The process at the City has been purely games, backroom dealing, and a bait & switch effort designed to keep this new tax out of the hands of Portland’s voters,” said Leathers.

 The Coalition will begin collecting signatures immediately.