PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Tax season is here, which means the City of Portland has begun mailing out its annual mountain of arts tax letters reminding citizens that it’s time to pay up.
Portland Revenue Division Director Thomas Lannom told KOIN 6 News that the city has been mailing out 15,000 arts tax letters per day since Feb. 9. When the mailing process is complete, the letters are expected to reach some 340,000 households.
New Portland residents may be surprised to find the letter reading “IMPORTANT: CITY TAX DUE APRIL 18th,” arriving in their mailboxes. Welcome to Portland, where once a year, residents pay a $35 income tax to finance the city’s Arts Education and Access Fund.
Approved by voters in 2012, the Arts Education and Access Fund income tax helps to finance arts and music education in the city’s elementary schools and provides grants to local nonprofits.
Each year, the tax raises roughly $12 million for the fund.
Every adult who lived in Portland and earned more than $1,000 in the previous tax year (2022) is required to pay the tax. Adults who earned less than $1,000 during the tax year, or who are below the federal poverty level, may claim an exemption by filing the arts tax return.
To avoid penalties, residents must pay the tax through the city website or by mail by April 18. The tax can be paid online via Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card or electronic check. Mailed checks and money order payments must include confirmation numbers from online filing receipts.