GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-4000
1. The Council shall by ordinance provide a system for the collection, custody and disbursements of all public moneys, not inconsistent with the provisions of statute and this Charter, and shall by ordinance provide a system of accounting for the City, which shall be so planned as to enable a clear and intelligent statement to be made of the financial affairs of the City from time to time as provided by this Charter.
2. The City Officer responsible for accounting shall keep an account of all moneys paid into and out of the treasury. The City Officer responsible for accounting shall keep a register of warrants, check-warrants and checks, showing the funds upon which they are drawn, the numbers, in whose favor, and the appropriations, if any, applicable to the payment thereof.
3. The chief financial officer of the City shall give information as to the exact condition of the treasury and of every appropriation and Fund thereof under control of the Council, upon demand of the Mayor, or the Council, or any Commissioner or the Auditor. The chief financial officer of the City shall keep the records and accounts of the City in a complete and intelligible manner, but may keep a summary of departmental or bureau records and accounts where he or she finds such summary to be sufficient. He or she shall make an annual statement to the Council showing the receipts and disbursements of the City and the state of each particular Fund and the City's financial condition as soon as records are complete after the close of business on the last day of each fiscal year. The annual report shall contain an accurate statement in summarized form of the financial receipts of the City from all sources and of the expenditures of the City for all purposes, together with a detailed statement of the debt of said City, of the purposes for which said debt has been incurred, and of the accounts of said City with grantees of franchises and the names of the present owners of each thereof, and a summary of the assets and liabilities of the City. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 84; rev. 1914, sec. 185; 1928 pub., sec. 185; 1942 recod., sec. 7-101; am. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 20, 1986; am. May 18, 1994.]
No money shall be expended or payment made from any fund of the City, except assessment, trust, agency, revolving or working capital funds, until an appropriation shall be made therefor, but this requirement shall not apply to judgments or lawful investments. An ordinance making an appropriation of money shall not contain a provision on any other subject.
All obligations for interest on the bonded indebtedness of the City and other fixed charges shall be paid as the same mature, or in accordance with the terms of contract or law.
Any liability or liabilities willfully incurred by the Council to be paid in any fiscal year, which singly or in the aggregate shall be in excess of the revenues and receipts for such a year, shall be null and void.
The Council may by ordinance limit the expenditures of every department of the City government, except interest charges and other charges fixed by contract or by this Charter during each fiscal year, or during any month thereof, and any contracts made, debts created or liability willfully incurred in excess of the amounts authorized by the Council, where the Council may so limit the expenditures of moneys, shall be null and void, and the Council shall not authorize any expenditures during any fiscal year, nor shall any liability or liabilities be incurred by or on account of the City of Portland, to be paid in any particular fiscal year (for the payment of which approval of the Council shall be necessary) which singly or in the aggregate shall be in excess of the revenues and receipts received or available during such year, applicable, or made applicable by transfer, to the payment of such liability or liabilities. Nothing contained in this Charter shall authorize the enforcement against or collection from said City, on account of any debt, contract or liability, of any sum in excess of the limitations prescribed in this Section.
The City shall issue no warrants or other evidences of indebtedness, except upon special assessment funds, and the payment of judgments against the City, unless there is money in the treasury applicable to the payment of the same on presentation, and all evidences of indebtedness issued contrary to this provision shall be null and void. Any member of the Council knowingly voting to incur any liability or to create any debt in excess of the amount limited and authorized by the law, shall be deemed guilty of malfeasance in office, and for such malfeasance such member may be removed from office. [Ch. 1903, sec. 117; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 91; rev. 1914, sec. 193; 1928 pub., sec. 193; 1942 recod., sec. 7-102; am. Nov. 6, 1962.]
Every demand upon the City for payment of money out of the treasury, must, before it can be paid, be presented to the chief financial officer of the City, who shall examine such demand to satisfy himself or herself whether the money is legally due and payable, and out of what Fund it is payable. No demand shall be approved or paid unless it specify each several item, date and amount composing it, and have endorsed thereon the legal authority for its payment. However, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to demands for payment out of funds from which any officers, boards or Commissioners are empowered by this Charter or other law to require payment without Council authorization, nor to requisitions, checks or warrants thereon. The chief financial officer of the City shall keep an official record of all demands examined by the chief financial officer of the City showing the number, date, amount, name of the payee and against what appropriation, if any, drawn and out of what Fund payable. The chief financial officer of the City shall not allow any demand out of its order to give priority to one demand over another drawn upon the same specific Fund, except that when liability for any claim presented is not sufficiently apparent to the chief financial officer of the City, he or she may delay the payment thereof until such liability shall be determined. [Ch. 1903, sec. 274; rev. 1914, sec. 69; 1928 pub., sec. 69; 1942 recod., sec. 2-406 and 2-407; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 20, 1986; am. May 18, 1994.]
No demand shall be allowed by the chief financial officer of the City in favor of any corporation or person indebted to the City in any manner, except for assessments or taxes not delinquent, without first deducting the amount of any indebtedness then due of which the chief financial officer has notice, nor in favor of any person having the collection, custody or disbursement of public funds, unless such person's account has been presented, passed, approved and allowed as herein required, nor in favor of any officer determined by the Mayor or Commissioner In Charge to have neglected to make his or her official returns or reports in the manner and at the time required by law, ordinance or the regulation of the Council, or to have neglected or refused to comply with any of the provisions of law regulating such officer's duties, nor in favor of any officer or employee found by the Mayor or Commissioner In Charge to have absented himself or herself without legal cause or duly granted leave of absence from the duties of his or her office during office hours, after such determination has been transmitted and filed with the chief financial officer. [Ch. 1903, sec. 277; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 101; rev. 1914, sec. 72; 1928 pub., sec. 72; 1942 recod., sec. 2-409; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
When payment of a demand has been authorized by the Council and approved as provided in this article, the Mayor and Auditor shall draw warrants on the Treasurer therefor. Such warrants must be signed by the Mayor and attested by the Auditor; but no warrants, except such as are issued upon funds created by special assessments, or warrants issued in settlement of judgments of the courts, shall be drawn signed by the Mayor or attested by the Auditor until the money for the payment thereof is in the hands or under the control of the City Treasurer. Check-warrants countersigned by the Treasurer, checks signed by the Treasurer, or other method of payment authorized by law may be used in lieu of warrants. Such check-warrants or checks shall be drawn upon a bank in which the Treasurer has deposited money for such purpose. [Ch. 1903, sec. 280; rev. 1914, sec. 75; 1928 pub., sec. 75; 1942 recod., sec. 2-412; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 20, 1986; am. May 18, 1994.]
It shall be lawful to transfer money from the General Fund to any other fund of the City and from the bonded indebtedness interest fund to the Improvement Bond Interest Fund, and to make any transfer permitted by statute, and the Council may provide that money transferred must be returned to the fund from which it was transferred. [Ch. 1903, sec. 115; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 89; rev. 1914, sec. 191; 1928 pub., sec. 191; 1942 recod., sec. 7-103; am. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
When the necessity for maintaining any fund of the City has ceased to exist and a balance remains in such fund, the Council shall so declare by ordinance, and upon such declaration, such balance shall be forthwith transferred to the General Fund unless other provisions have been made in the original creation of the fund. However, the purposes of a special fund may be enlarged for similar objects. [Ch. 1903, sec. 116; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 90; rev. 1914, sec. 192; am. May 17, 1918; 1928 pub., sec. 192; 1942, recod., sec. 7-104; am. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
Whenever bonds of the City of Portland are offered for sale, and there is a balance to the credit of any fund, not invested, said bonds may be awarded at par and accrued interest to the City Treasurer for the nearest practical amount, to consume said balance, and shall be held by the City Treasurer as an investment for said fund. When the bonds of the City of Portland are not offered for sale at a time or in sufficient amount to provide for the investing of any such balance, the Council may provide for investing the same in any general obligations of the United States Government, State of Oregon, the City of Portland, Multnomah County, School District No. 1 of Multnomah County or Port of Portland, or in any other bonds or investments permitted by statute, and to that end the Council may authorize the Treasurer to purchase the same on the open market if there is an established market therefor, or to submit a bid for any such bonds which are about to be issued for sale, or may authorize the Treasurer to advertise for proposals from persons holding any such bonds. Purchase of bonds upon bids shall be made by the Council on the basis of the most advantageous bid received, reserving the right to reject any and all bids. All interest received from such investments shall be credited to the fund from which the investment was made unless specifically provided otherwise by Charter or statute, provided, that two (2) or more funds may be joined in one investment, a suitable provision being made for keeping an account of the amount invested from each fund and making an apportionment of the interest and principal when received. The Council may sell any bond or investment so purchased, when the same may not be payable at or near the time when such funds may be needed for the purpose for which the sinking fund or special fund was created, on the open market, if there is an established market for such investments, or, if there is no such established market, to the highest and best bidder after advertising for proposals in the City official newspaper by publication for at least five (5) days. Pending the investment as herein provided of any surplus or idle funds, the same shall be deposited in a depository bank which has qualified and been selected as a depository pursuant to statute. [Ch. 1903, sec. 116; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 90; rev. 1914, sec. 192; am. May 17, 1918; 1928 pub., sec. 192; 1942 recod., sec. 7-104; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
At the close of each fiscal year the books and accounts and the financial affairs and transactions of the City shall be audited by an independent licensed public accountant or firm of such accountants appointed by the City Auditor with the approval of the Council. Such audits shall also be made for various departments, as provided in this Charter. The City Auditor may from time to time and as often as he or she shall deem necessary, have like audit made of the books and accounts, and the financial affairs and transactions of the City or any part of City government. [May 3, 1913, new sec. 34; rev. 1914, sec. 195; 1928 pub., sec. 195; 1942 recod., sec. 7-106; am. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 20, 1986; am. May 18, 1994.]
The Council shall, subject to applicable statutory provisions and at the time provided by law, levy upon all property not exempt from taxation, taxes for the coming fiscal year, as follows:
1. A tax to provide for the payment of the expenses of the City, subject to constitutional limitations, aside from any special levy or levies authorized for said year and aside from any levy for the payment of bonded indebtedness and interest thereon. The proceeds from the tax levy so made shall be credited to the General Fund.
2. Also a tax sufficient to meet the interest on the bonded indebtedness of the City to be credited to the Bonded Indebtedness Interest Fund.
3. Also a tax of not less than four-tenths of one mill on each dollar valuation not exempt from taxation to provide for the purchase of securities as an investment and/or payment or redemption of the bonded indebtedness of the City, to be credited to the sinking funds, or bond redemption funds. In all cases a tax shall be levied sufficient to provide for principal repayments on general obligations of the City.
4. Nothing herein contained authorizing general or special tax levies shall affect the right or power of other commissions to levy a tax as provided elsewhere in this Charter.
5. At the same time other levies of taxes are made and in addition to tax levies authorized by the Charter or other authorizations by the voters, the Council shall levy each year a special tax of three-tenths of a mill on each dollar of the assessed valuation of the property in the City of Portland not exempt from taxation, which shall be credited each year to the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund provided for by Section 5-101 of the Charter and said special tax of three-tenths of a mill shall be in addition to all other taxes which may be levied according to law.
6. Nothing herein contained shall affect the right, power or duty of the Council to levy special taxes heretofore or hereafter authorized by the voters, and special taxes authorized and found necessary shall be levied.
[Ch. 1903, sec. 114; am. June 5, 1905; am. May 3, 1913, sec. 88; rev. 1914, sec. 190; am. July 1, 1926; 1928 pub., sec. 190; am. Nov. 6, 1928; am. Nov. 5, 1940; 1942 recod., sec. 7-110; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
The Council of the City of Portland is hereby authorized to borrow from time to time sufficient funds to meet the current expenses of the City of Portland during each fiscal year pending the collection of the annual tax levy for such fiscal year. [1942 recod., sec. 7-110, par. 7; rev. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 18, 1994.]
Special taxes for fixed amounts or limited terms, may be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other tax levies, upon approval by a majority of the City electors voting thereon. Measures for such special tax levies shall be submitted to the electors in the form of separate acts at a general or special election as authorizations or directions to the City Council or other levying body, without provision for amendment to this Charter. Copies of such measures approved by the voting majority shall be kept by the City officer responsible for accounting in a separate Current Special Tax Levy Register, and shall be public records having the same effect as though included in this Charter by amendment. All such authorizations for special tax levies not fully used or which have not fully expired by their terms, which were included in the City Charter at the time of passage of this amendment or approved at the time of passage of this amendment, shall be continued in full force and effect regardless of deletion from the Charter and shall be included by the City officer responsible for accounting in the Current Special Tax Levy Register. After the authority for a special tax levy has been fully used or has expired, it shall be removed from the current register and placed in a File of Completed Special Tax Levies. This Section shall not apply to authorizations to levy special taxes which by the provisions thereof, grant continuing authority from year to year without period limitations, notwithstanding stated maximum amounts or millage limits on the taxes which may be levied for any one year. Such authorizations shall continue as part of this Charter. [New sec. Nov. 6, 1962; am. May 20, 1986; am. May 18, 1994.]
1. The Council may by ordinance impose and levy a tax not exceeding five percent on gross amounts of money, credit or other things of value paid to or received for lodging by the owner or operator of any hotel, motel, apartment or lodging house, mobile home or trailer park or court, or any other place in the City where space designed or intended for lodging occupancy is rented by any person or persons, for any period less than monthly. This tax shall not apply to hospitals, convalescent or nursing homes, or public institutions, or permanent occupancy as defined by ordinance. Minimum rentals to which the tax shall apply may be fixed by ordinance. The tax imposed shall be collected by the owner or operator of the rental space in addition to the rental charge, at the time of payment of rent. City revenues from such taxes shall be credited to the General Fund of the City and used for general City purposes, as the Council may find appropriate, which may include provision for and the acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of recreational, cultural, convention or tourist-related facilities or services.
2. In addition to any other tax authorized by this Section of the Charter the Council shall by ordinance impose and levy a tax of one percent on gross amounts of money, credit or other things of value paid to or received for lodging by the owner or operator of any hotel, motel, apartment or lodging house, mobile home or trailer park or court, or any other place in the City where space designed or intended for lodging occupancy is rented by any person or persons, for any period less than monthly. This tax shall not apply to hospitals, convalescent or nursing homes, public institutions, or permanent occupancy as defined by ordinance. Minimum rentals to which the tax shall apply may be fixed by ordinance. The tax imposed shall be collected by the owner or operator of the rental space in addition to the rental charge, at the time of payment of rent. City revenues from such one percent tax increase, after providing for the cost of administration and any refunds or credits authorized by ordinance, shall be used exclusively as provided hereinafter for the promotion, solicitation, procurement, and service of convention business and tourism in the City. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the City from time to time for periods not to exceed five (5) years, subject to annual review, shall negotiate contracts with a non-profit corporation or with non-profit corporations organized under the laws of Oregon, whose primary purpose during the term of the contract or contracts is the promotion, solicitation, procurement and service of convention business and tourism in the City, for that corporation or corporations to expend revenues collected pursuant to this subsection for the purposes set forth in the subsection. In entering into the contract or contracts, the Council shall consider the recommendations of the persons subject to the tax imposed by this subsection. The Council shall in its sole discretion determine the portion of such revenues to be allocated between convention business and tourism. [Add. Dec. 14, 1971; Am. Nov. 7, 1978; am. May 18, 1994.]