Street Tax: Make Your Voice Heard – Input Needed ASAP

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick are proposing a new tax on businesses for street maintenance and safety. The proposed tax rates are attached.

This issue is evolving rapidly. It now appears that this tax will go before City Council before the end of the month.  The Mayor and Commissioner Novick are speaking with the Venture Portland Board on Tuesday May 20th at 8am. I will be there to represent the district and our members. Send your input to  info@knockoutwords.com by end of day Monday May 19th so I can share your voice to this meeting.

We need to understand the impact this tax would have on your business and on our district.  Please take a minute to review the attached tax schedule, and tell us your concerns. Please also try to answer the following questions:

  • What, if any, impact will the proposed street tax have on your business?
  • What is the most important transportation issue impacting your business (ex: lack of crosswalks/signals; traffic speed; congestion; parking/cars; parking/bikes; lack of sidewalks; access for freight; etc)?
  •  What percentage of your customers arrive by:
    • Auto
    • Bus/Street Car/Max
    • Bike
    • Walking
  • If you could dedicate the business portion of the tax revenue to fund specific transportation issues to support your business, what would they be?

My concerns for the businesses, entrepreneurs, and families in our district include:

  •  It is simply ill conceived and disproportionately impacts small businesses.
  •  This is a monthly flat tax, with no proposed time limit. This is not a one-time tax. You would pay this tax each and every month with no end in sight.
  •  Business owners will pay twice. First they will pay between $8 and $12 per month at home and then again at their business. Most businesses will pay an average of $47 EVERY MONTH and some will pay THOUSANDS of dollars EVERY MONTH.
  •  The tax schedule is based on estimated foot traffic. This is absurd. It harms the very business that are most reliant on foot traffic to survive, and operate on the slimmest margins.
  •  The city does not care if you are taking home less than minimum wage after you pay your staff, file taxes, keep your shelves stocked, (and the million other expenses you incur to build your business.) You still have to cough up the flat monthly tax, both at home and at your business.
  •  We are still waiting for fully funded transportation programs in our district to be implemented. I do not see any reason to send more money their way when we haven’t seen action on the 50’s Bikeway (approved and funded over a year ago) and the Foster Streetscape (widely supported by business owners and neighbors but the city is dragging its heels on approving and implementing it.)
  •  It sets a horrible precedent. The city cannot simply throw highly problematic flat taxes at businesses out of the blue. If this is the economic climate that Portland offers to business, those that can will simply pick up and cross the county line. The types of business that can’t- the ones that make our neighborhoods and districts inviting and fun (restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, etc.) will suffer from this fall out. It’s a downward spiral that does not stop at this street tax, and a precedent that I cannot stand for.
  •  It’s not good for your customers. Your business will have to pass on or absorb the cost of the tax, and neither is good for your customers.
  •  There is no imaginable situation where I think it’s okay to levy hefty taxes on residents and businesses with no vote or process other than the city pushing it through as quickly as possible, hoping we don’t notice.

I am sure there are other problems that you can identify. Please share your concerns by 5:00 Monday so I can take them to the Mayor and Commissioner Novick.

Thank you,
Kristin O’Neill
FABA Board President

 

Reading/Resources

 PBOT Presentation

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/487227

PBOT Survey

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/487228

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/64188

Articles

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/portland_street_fee_needs_busi.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/04/portlands_roads_commissioner_s.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2014/04/portland_street_fee_cant_be_se.html

http://bikeportland.org/2014/01/15/city-assembles-sales-team-for-street-fee-plan-99924

http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-22520-road_worriers.html

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Portland-considers-new-monthly-tax-for-roads-253674151.html

FABA Calls for Prompt Action on Foster Streetscape

Letters advocating support for, and an expedient approval of, the Foster Streetscape are on their way to City Hall. Members of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) as well as concerned community members signed off on 22 letters which are en route to Portland City Commissioners and Mayor Charlie Hales following FABA’s April 8 board meeting.

Don’t ignore public input

Urging “immediate approval and implementation of the Foster Streetscape Plan,” the letters serve as poignant and urgent reminders to city leaders that the time, effort, and intellectual capital already invested in developing the plan should not be derailed by a subsequent lack of action.

“City staff and resources have been extensively engaged in outreach with open houses, website, mailings, visits to organization meetings, presentations, newspaper articles, etc.,” the letter notes. “(We have) shared our feedback, support, and excitement for the plan. This project has very broad community support, and it’s time to take action and approve it.”

A jump start for economic growth

FABA members voiced their support of the plan as a catalyst for economic growth in the neighborhood.

“Pedestrian and bike friendly streets are essential not only for safety’s sake, but for business’s sake as well,” the letter states. “The proposed improvements will create business friendly streets which are good for our district, (and) good for our neighbors.”

We Want to Hear Your Voice: The Survey is Live

Survey Says: Your Voice Matters!

online survey image for site

Take this Very Short Survey for the Foster Area’s Future

We are reaching out to Foster Area business owners and neighbors to learn how we can best serve the district. We’ve put together a VERY SHORT survey that you can do online in about 5 minutes (maybe less!).  Take the survey here: http://bit.ly/1d75sWn.

Share it with others you know. The more responses we get, the better we can serve you.

Tell Us What You Think Today: Survey Closes January  10th

We’ll be presenting the results of our survey at our next board meeting January 14th, so get your answers in soon. Help shape the future of the Foster area by sharing your thoughts.

 

Fun on Foster Cancelled

Cart-oberfest and Cruise In Still On

Unfortunately, Fun on Foster for Sat Sept 28th 2013, has been cancelled due to the weather forecast.

The show is still on at Carts on Foster and The Cruise-in at 79th is still on 10am to 2 pm.

Sick Leave Ordinance Forum With Commissioner Fritz Friday 9/6

Sick Leave Ordinance Goes Into Effect 1/1/14

Neighborhood businesses and business districts, make sure your opinion is heard.  Attend Venture Portland’s Town Hall Forum with Commissioner Fritz at 12pm Friday Sept. 6th.

Every employer with employees working in Portland must comply with the Sick Leave Ordinance which goes into effect 1/1/14.

Please RSVP (heather@ventureportland.org) to confirm your spot at this time-sensitive meeting.

 Neighborhood Business District Town Hall*

Sick Time Legislation

Friday, 9/6

12-1:30pm

Rose Room, Moda Center at the Rose Quarter

Lunch Available for $7

RSVP: heather@ventureportland.org

 

Complimentary parking is in the Garden Garage; entrance is on N. Winning Way (attached to the North side of the Rose Garden.) Access the Rose Room from P4 (Club Level) entrance to the Moda Center arena

 Please Note:

This forum is not to debate the merits of Sick Leave (the Ordinance was approved unanimously by City Council) – it is to ensure that the rules regarding implementation are as easy to follow as possible for neighborhood businesses and business districts.

Free Local Small Business Summit This Tuesday!

Portland Local Business Summit

There’s a FREE Local Business Summit for Small Business Owners on July 16 to learn how to increase your productivity and take your business to another level. Free to register at http://bit.ly/DexDigitalPortland.

Dex will be giving away a $12,000 print and online digital marketing package on the spot to one lucky attendee. Also, each guest receives a gift bag and Barry Moltz said that he is including a copy of his latest business book.

This event is free to attend – Dex Digital provides annual education events like this in Portland for small business owners :http://dexone.amssupport.net/Public/Register.aspx?dexid=othermedia&dexoneid=othermedia_portland2013

Foster is A High Crash Corridor: Test Your Pedestrian Safety Knowledge

PBOT

High Crash Corridor Pedestrian Safety Quiz

We are all pedestrians at some time during the day. We all want to get from here
to there safely. But do you know Oregon crosswalk laws? Are you aware of your
responsibilities as a pedestrian? Do you know when and where most pedestrian
fatalities occur in Portland?

Check out the quiz here: www.LookBeforeCrossing.org
The first 500 Portlanders to take the quiz will get a free tote!

Brought to you by:
Sharon White
High Crash Corridor Safety Program
City of Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 800, Portland OR, 97204
Phone: (503) 823-7100   FAX: (503) 823-7576   
Sharon.White@portlandoregon.gov
E V E R Y corner is a legal crosswalk whether it is marked or not