Portland's well-intentioned but troubled arts education tax is making waves once again. Refunds are now in the works for an unknown number of residents who dutifully paid their $35 even though most of their income comes from Social Security and/or pension checks—income streams the city is technically barred from touching. The city already approved a $1,000 income minimum in early April and moved the deadline to May 15, all while launching a broader review of changes due this summer. As of Tuesday, May 7, the city has collected just $4.25 million—about half of what it expects to collect in the tax's first fiscal year. DENIS C. THERIAULT


Rival groups are sparring on Facebook over Mayor Charlie Hales' seemingly earnest proposal to save $1.1 million by scrapping the Portland Police Bureau's mounted patrol. But there's some serious weight behind the activists lobbying to keep the horses; longtime booster group Friends of Portland's Mounted Patrol. The group, besides gathering thousands of Facebook likes and now circulating a petition, is offering to raise $75,000 a year to offset part of the $175,000 annual cost of keeping the bureau's nine police horses. Backers also argue that most of the savings amount to moving cops from the mounted patrol to other units. Which is true—except that's the whole idea behind getting rid of the riders. Because keeping the mounted patrol would translate to deeper cuts in other divisions already hurting: property crimes, family services, and traffic, among others. DCT