Novick Offers November Deadline to Firm Up Street Fee for Businesses


The whole tenor of the conversation surrounding this street fee seems to assume that there is a somehow a revenue problem. Is that the case or is PBOT spending in excess of its capability?

Here’s a link to a 2013 PBOT audit.…. A few highlights from the audit:

PBOT plans to spend $115 million of discretionary revenue in FY 2012-13, an increase of $23 million (26 percent) from FY 2008-09. But even with this total spending increase, many maintenance programs have been reduced.

PBOT has identified many trends that may make gas tax and parking fees unstable revenue sources in the long term. * * * However, in its financial forecast, PBOT estimates that both gas taxes and parking revenues will continue to rise through the end of the forecast period in FY 2016-17. PBOT bases the estimate of the City’s gas tax/ State Highway Fund revenues on the Oregon Department of Transportation Gas Tax Forecast, which is conservatively discounted by 7 percent.

The east side streetcar line began operating in September 2012. However, the east side parking district was not approved by Council until June 2012, and will not have surplus revenue in the first year due to implementation costs. Until those parking revenues exceed the costs of parking district implementation and operation, streetcar operations will be subsidized with
other discretionary transportation revenues.

From FY 2012-13 to FY 2016-17, debt service payments are estimated to increase another 80 percent, as payments begin on bonds to fund the Portland Milwaukie Light Rail line and the Sellwood Bridge replacement.
While Council intended that payment of the Portland Milwaukie Light Rail line bonds be funded partially by dedicated System Development Charges (SDCs), according to Office of Management and Finance staff, those revenues are extremely volatile. PBOT financial managers told us they anticipate debt service for the light rail project will be paid out of other discretionary transportation revenues at least through the next five years. PBOT management noted that prior to the downtown transit mall and Portland Milwaukie Light Rail development, PBOT funds had not been used for transit development. Again, funding for this new project will displace existing core transportation services unless and until SDCs increase.
Funny how Oregon City has done this, but Portlanders cry foul.
Basically the PBOT and the City administration has overextended and spent beyond their capability and are now looking to squeeze more money out of the public. The best part of this authoritarian mandate is how Mayor almighty Hales and his minion Novick is bulldozing this regressive tax through without a public vote while still giving public lip service about Democracy and the Democratic process. Sounds a little like the last administration. And guess where all the road repair funds went to during the Adams reign? Obviously not to repair potholes . Homeowners already pay property tax, why should they pay more? What about schools being asked to pay this tax, public schools that are underfunded as it is? Small business owners are penalized as well. Have they thought of the potential negative impact on the community at large? Of Course not. Most people after they pay bills barely have $11.56 left at the end of it. This is taxation without equal and fair presentation by autocratic bureaucrats, whom I did not vote into office . And of course they backtrack when they have backlash from the big business interests. How typical..
Portlanders cry foul due to a pattern of misallocation of public funds, starting with the Adams administration and the vanity projects ie.. the water house,, bioswales/bike parking. The public is suspicious , resentful and wary that the same pattern continues.. For example, the last administration should've focused on immediate community needs like safer intersection pedestrian crossings, road repair of POTHOLES, instead of expensive bioswales and bike parking. Appropriate allocation of public funds and prioritization according to community needs, not political kowtowing to special interests ,is what its about. That's why there's a public backlash . Most of these elected officials are hold overs from the previous administration that's now perceived as corrupt. Portland was left with a deficit of 25million. How does that happen and not one pothole repaired. There's also the element of legislating mandates without a public consensus and referendum. The usual suspects doing it again.
Why is it surprising that small businesses and nonprofits are against this? They oppose it for the same reason that homeowners (probably another evil group, along with big business, in the eyes of Denis Theriault) are against's regressive, unfair and unnecessary.

Also, the Mercury really should stop using the Hales-Novick preferred language of "11.56 a month." Why not say $140 a year?
Oregon City roads are mostly driven on by Oregon City residents (since trunk roads like Hwy 99 get money from a separate pot). So it's reasonable to ask Oregon City residents to pay for them.

Portland roads are also driven on by people from Beaverton, Clackamas, Vancouver, etc etc etc. So it's not reasonable to ask Portland residents to cover all that cost. A large portion should come from either Metro or state.

(or, we could just move to a more sensible metro-wide council rather than a collection of little cities, which would work out cheaper and more representative, but that would cost politicians their jobs so they'll never support it...)
"But far more surprising was fury from small businesses and nonprofits, some of whom faced the possibility of paying thousands of dollars a year."

Surprising to fucking idiots, maybe.

Splitting the opposition between homeowners and businesses until just after the election (Nov. 14) is cynical even for this city.
What Blabby said.