Back in 2014, when officials were trying to ease public angst over a controversial "street fee," the Portland Bureau of Transportation set up an online calculator to help businesses figure out just what they'd be charged under one of several proposals. It didn't seem to help much, and Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick wound up scrapping the plan entirely (partly at the behest of state legislators, who'd later fail to pass a statewide gas tax).
It's 2016 now, and the controversial revenue measure of the day is a business license fee hike Mayor Charlie Hales proposed in his banner $510 million general fund budget. The Portland Business Alliance is pissed, two commissioners (at least) seem like they're intractable in their opposition, but Hales has argued the bulk of the tax hike's $8.7 million in yearly revenue will come from large corporations.
And to illustrate that point? A new online calculator! The mayor's office announced today business owners can use this tool to calculate exactly what they'd pay under the hike (and a concurrent increase in the amount business owners can deduct for their incomes).
According to Hales, the majority of Portland businesses will be unaffected by his proposal, but more than 25,000 would see average increases between $61 and $1,532 a year. (Edit: These are averages for various business types. Some businesses would see up to $280,000 in increases.)
Anyway, the calculator's not all-that easy to use—you'll need to have either some recent tax forms on hand or a deep, deep knowledge of your business's financial particulars—but it's something.