Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion

Another ballot? Srsly?

edited May 2011
Man, this mega-bond for skools is a tough one. (I'm talking 26-121, the other one for teachers seems like an easy "Yes")

Seems like you could build brand new buildings for less than the cost of some of these renovations. Also the skeezy advertising blitz from the construction companies (and city government? is that even legal?) is sorta convincing me of the other guy's argument.

Help please.


  • We should have been paying for this stuff for DECADES and we didn't so now we have to play a lot of catchup. Get used to it, I think it's going to be the story of our generation. See: Medicare, social security, foreign debt, transportation infrastructure and, yes, crumbling schools.

    I mean, seriously! Asbestos? In 2011? Boilers that we have to manufacture parts for when they break down because the company that made them has been out of business for so long? Classrooms that are eighty degrees or fifty degrees? If my workplace had problems like those, I would find another job. It's crazy that we put our kids in buildings like these.
  • Also sink holes.
  • did you hear how Rick Santorum said social security is going to fail because women are having so many abortions that there literally won't be a "next generation" to work and pay taxes into social security? Like, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF ABORTIONS! I can't remember the last time I saw a child, he's right! OMG IT'S LIKE CHILDREN OF MEN

    Sorry, this was unrelated
  • what do our fiscally responsible republicans think of this ?

    also, is anyone here a tea party supporter?
  • edited May 2011
    @zin; By "we" you mean city governments via levies on property taxes? Because yeah I concede your entire argument but it seems awkward to push this stuff downhill from feds, to state, to local governments. So my question is more about is this the right way to fund these programs, and if so are we making efficient use of the money (like $50M to renovate a school when creating one from scratch is probably $20-30M).

    This is why I voted against money for firetrucks a while back. Not because I hate firetrucks. Firetrucks are super useful and cool to look at besides. But not planning to spend money on firetrucks as part of the normal city budget seems like a epic fail.

    @bookhouseboyP; I've never met a fiscally responsible republican so I couldn't tell ya. ;) But I'm a tea party supporter, in that I support them imploding their party's chances at taking the whitehouse. Mmmmmm.... vouchers for Medicare. You honestly can't make this stuff up.
  • "Not planning to spend money on firetrucks is an epic fail." Have you lived in Oregon long? I've been here since 1993. If we vote no to 'send a message' that the legislature should get their freakin act together, it'll never happen. Never.
  • this is a tough call. upping portland's already super high property taxes 11% or more is a lot to ask, especially when those taxes are based on pre-bubble-burst assessments of the properties' value. schools are definitely in need, but there is no doubt that this measure be a nightmare for the hundreds/thousands of home owners struggling to pay their mortgages. my folks, for instance, will have their property taxes go up around $550 a year if these two measures pass, on a house they bought at the top of the bubble which is no longer worth what they owe on it or what the city assesses it at.

    sales tax please
  • The one thing that is weird about these property tax bonds is that we always vote on whether to start up some new ones, but old ones we're already paying on run out and expire with no fanfare at all. So, it seems like we're always adding new property taxes via the ballot, but actually property taxes go down, too. It seems like that would make them hard to evaluate.

    Anyway, I don't see any particular reason why property taxes are a bad way to fund construction and renovation of schools. The city has no sales tax. The city has no personal income tax. Maybe this kind of thing could be funded out of the state budget, but it's getting cut all over the place right now due to the recession.

    If we don't do this, the schools will suffer -- no other mechanism will be created to fund these renovations. I mean, maybe that's okay with a majority of voters. But that's the choice we're making. Not one about how smart and forward-looking our budgets are.
  • @freddy; You might be talking about the state level, where I'm sure it happens too... but it's pretty clear that city officials regularly punt on important financial decisions (libraries, parks, schools) because it's politically safer to put them on the ballot and dodge responsibility for making tough budget choices. I think we agree on this.

    Where I think we disagree is that you are saying that we just have to accept this and fund our city via the ballot box. I would argue that if these ballot measures were not a 90% success proposition then they would have to change tactics and get real with the city budget. I don't vote down every funding measure as a protest (libraries and parks were modest amounts and seemed well worth it) but I do take into consideration the size, scope and source of the revenues. I might also be willing to give the city the benefit of the doubt if they didn't constantly play fast-and-loose with URDs, Water and Sewer money, etc.

    My point is that we should think about sustainable funding for city-- and state-- services (sales tax? kicker for schools? etc) rather than just voting yes on every "good idea" put on a ballot measure. This dynamic enables the boom-and-bust cycles of government and encourages Sizemore type shenanegans.
  • So, the rest of the ballot. Here's a cheat sheet if, a) you live in North Portland and have the same people on your ballot as me, and b) you agree with me on stuff.

    MESD position 5, zone 1: Gary Hollands
    MESD position 6, at large: Doug Montgomery

    PCC Director, zone 2: Harold C Williams

    Portland School District Director, zone 1: Ruth Adkins
    Director, zone 2: Matt Morton
    Director, zone 3: Bobbie Regan
    Director, zone 7: Greg Belisle

    Then the levy & bond, yes & yes.
  • edited May 2011
    Awesome, thanks. And I do appreciate u and Freddy chiming in on the bond issue. I'm taking your advice to heart even tho I can seem (and am) an obstinate cuss.

    FYI My preliminary research on multnomah property taxes hasn't yet found any cases of it going down. But its hard to Google cuz most of the results are about our weird state constitution and its effect on tax valuations.
  • It goes down all the time! The Parkrose school district, which is also in Portland, has a bond or levy or something expiring this year, and they have a new one up for a vote. So if it passes, taxes will... do nothing. Stay the same. If it fails, taxes will go down. Theirs is smaller by a lot, but this kind of thing happens every year, and there's often nothing replacing the bond that's running out.
  • Is there an ideal tax rate? People complain about taxes being too high, but there is never talk about what it should be...
  • People make it sound like paying taxes is like the opposite of the American dream. I think the people that don't want to pay taxes are anarchists and libertarian leaners. But wait

    How will we pay for
    Abortion clinics
    Homeless shelters
    Presidential campaigning
    Bipartisan bickering


    I guess the people that don't want to pay taxes have never utilized these services.
  • i make so little money i barely pay anything in taxes, so i feel kind of lame when i argue in favor of raising them since i won't really be the one who is actually paying the higher rates.

    an honest question that i have, with no intentions of sounding snarky, is how is it that the city of portland always seems to have plenty of money for very expensive transportation projects yet never seems to have enough for schools? it always feels like we are voting for school funding, yet i don't recall voting for aerial trams or light rail. am i just forgetting that?
  • I think a lot of the time, it's dependent on the funding source. I know, for instance, that light rail construction is largely funded by federal transportation grants.

    Also, we did just vote on Tri-Met funding! There was a measure last November to renew a bond and buy new buses. It lost. (And property taxes went down.)

    But, you make a good point. Why isn't there just stable permanent adequate funding for schools? Shouldn't this be a priority at such a level that we're not leaving it up to the whims of voters every year?
  • Isn't the stupid kicker check partly to blame for funding fuckups
  • Big time!

    But voters put the stupid kicker check in the constitution in 2000, so we would have to have a vote of everyone to abolish it, and that ain't gonna happen.
  • edited May 2011
    Any specifics on property taxes going down? Yes, I realize that bonds expiring would theoretically make property taxes lower but due to increasing tax valuations and new bonds does this actually happen? Despite your use of exclamations, every chart or graph I have found have shown steady increases. Granted this is in aggregate and I've found nothing recent since the housing market fell off a cliff. But if you are assuming that just because a bond doesn't get renewed that the net property tax goes down I think you may be mistaken. I'm honestly wondering where we can get data on this question. Ideas?

    Mine have stayed pretty reasonable, maybe gone up a few hunnie in eight years, but a friend of mine has seen over $2000 hike in the past two years. Years in which his house probably dropped 30% in value and is now under water with his mortgage. I suspect that there are a lot more in his camp-- and that will make any measure that further hikes the rate an uphill battle with these folks.
  • I'm waiting for KMikeyM to run for office, it's only a matter of time...

    The valuation of Mult Co property tax is on an automatic % increase each year. ~5%? It can't go up faster due to a capping mechanism. With declining values, my house could be sold for about its tax value, fair taxation, no bargain. But if you go to, you can look up the taxes and tax value for houses and buildings around town. Many peeps in N, NE are in $2-3-4, 000,000 homes assessed at $80,000, and will take years and years to catch up to real. Seriously - see a for sale sign at a price, check the taxes. I am not against gentrification, but we subsidize it at hundreds of dollars a month per dwelling. In Cali (I think/don't quote me) the assessed valuation adjusts to the sale price when the house is sold.

    I'm a big D Democrat, but I'm not voting for the school construction bond. The schools announced that the last bond earthquaked the schools, now with earthquakes in the news they are claiming it still needs doing. Plus they had their own study of priorities, but picked projects to please neighborhoods they needed support for in the election, even replacing relatively new buildings. Let's do construction after the recession and with a long term plan, I say.

    Ballots due Tuesday. Free dropoffs everywhere or at the main election office across from Holocene 24x7. Also I think if you are already registered but moved and didn't get a mail ballot you can go to the office and vote in person, but not sure if the deadline for that is passed.
  • I voted YES today for PPS. How could you not when you see cute children holding signs on your way to work in the morning?

  • PPS should start a Kickstarter account
  • @bookhouseboyP Thanks - my zero error, ment 200,000 - 400,000 in N. NE, not millions!

    I'm all for smiling kids, government more business like, branding, but I got the analytical brain in the lottery, so it goes.
  • The bond lost by 1%.
  • edited August 2011

    Turns out there was a reason the promotion for that bond measure smelled a little fishy. Personally I'm more concerned about the sleazy, but probably legal, money from the construction companies that bankrolled the supporters. Seems like a little effort from PPS promoting the assignment of more resources is not exactly the scandal that most of the Oregonlive commentors are making it out to be.
Sign In or Register to comment.