That was the basic point of my testimony yesterday before the Rainbow City Council. Here the testimony here.
Good morning, I’m Victoria Taft, I’m a native of Portland, live in the City now and am a tax payer.
I’m here to ask you not to raise taxes and fees on water, and garbage rates. I’m also here to beg you not refer to the ballot a local tax for art.
Just this week the Federal Reserve released a document showing that from 2007 when Nancy Pelosi took the house gavel to 2010 the net worth of Americans collapsed by 40%.
Quoting the Washington Post,
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.
40,000 jobs have moved out of the City of Portland to surrounding suburbs or just disappeared from existence in the last decade according to a study by the Portland Business Alliance.
Property taxes on the ever diminishing value of property are still high with no relief in sight.
Home values are down.
The price of food is going up.
Fuel costs are even higher.
The costs of living in Portland, Oregon are nightmarishly high and the City Council is considering the idea of sending costs even higher.
You want to raise garbage rates for a failed composting plan. Composting is nice. But I was already doing it. And now you’ve rationed garbage service and are charging me more.
Now, because it’s not working, you’re considering penalizing and fining people for their failure to comply.
How about ditching the plan and giving our money back?
I really need it.
Compared to others I suppose I’m doing pretty well, but this stuff hurts. I can’t imagine how others with less means are coping.
You’re considering higher water rates when you’ve misspent water money on things that had nothing to do with water such as pretty signs, rehabbing an office building, white elephant “water’ houses and bike paths.
Now, after you’ve spent all the money, you come back to us in this horrible economic time and try take more.
You give money away to schools—which are already capable of levying, bonding and taxing.
Now you’re talking about giving your blessing to asking for an INCOME tax—a $35 a person tax—on every single person in the area to support school art classes and art grants.
Grants for more Zoo Bomber statues?
Charity is nice, but government isn’t charity, city government is supposed to take care of the basics in conformance to its charter.
If you want to take over the schools, why don’t you just ask us? Put it to a vote. But please stop bleeding us.
Portland is on a glide path to San Francisco without the wealth.
You see it happening right before your eyes…
Diminishing number of kids in the schools…
Overtly supporting things that scare families away—such as Occupy Portland…
Pretty soon only rich people or people on government subsidies or government workers will be able to live in this City.
I’m begging for mercy here on my behalf and on the behalf of people who can’t afford to be here today…
Please do not raise taxes and fees. You’re not just killing us, it could just kill what’s left of the City.