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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

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Portland Mercury: Turns Out People Are Okay With an Income Tax Increase to Pay For Streets, City Now Says

July 17, 2014 | First Commissioner Steve Novick told us an income tax increase wasn't workable for raising the millions in extra revenue he says Portland's streets need. A poll released in April, Novick told reporters, showed the public didn't have the stomach for such a raise. Portlanders much preferred a street maintenance fee option, wherein residents would be charged a flat monthly fee and businesses are assessed charges on a sliding scale.

At the time, the Mercury questioned whether or not that result (a bare majority of voters approved of a fee) might not have been dictated by the form of the survey, which was highly focused on a maintenance fee, and only threw tax increases in at the very end. We even talked to experts to see if they thought the findings were valid.

Since then, it's become clear the public is at least somewhat hostile to a street fee. There's even a new effort to force a recall election for Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales because they've tried to get it through council without holding a public vote.

And now we hear that the public likes an income tax, after all. Novick's office just released the results of a new poll that suggests one income tax raising option, on people with incomes of $125,000 and above, is more popular than the street maintenance fee ever was—with 60 percent support. READ FULL ARTICLE