Poll: Portland OK with raising income tax

The city is looking for ways to pay for upgrading the crumbling streets and roads

A streetcar makes its way up Broadway Street in Northeast Portland. (KOIN 6)
A streetcar makes its way up Broadway Street in Northeast Portland. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A new city poll shows Portland voters are fine with raising the income tax.

The survey, conducted by DHM Research on June 19 through 22, tested separate sets of 300 voters on each of four funding options.

The city is looking for ways to pay for upgrading the crumbling streets and roads.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick, the proponents of a street fee to raise more than $50 million, are now facing a recall effort over the issue.

The poll showed 50% of voters are willing to raise the income tax rate by one-quarter of 1%. Another 45% are opposed to the idea.

The city’s committee studying different ways to raise money met at City Hall Thursday. Members talked about the need to raise even more money in the future and ways to prove to the public the money is being used efficiently.

“It doesn’t solve the whole problem, but you got projects, you got them done, and then there’s a different discussion about now we want to complete the job,” said Fred Miller, the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Portland.

Because the city wants to put half the money-raising burden on businesses, the city is looking at a plan to raise personal income taxex by half the amount people were asked about in the poll.

Under that scenario, the city said, a couple making $60,000 in gross income would likely pay about $50 a year.

City commissioners won’t vote on any plans until November.

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