PORTLAND — Seven months since the Portland Arts Tax was due, still only about half of people required to pay the $35 yearly tax have paid up.
“We knew that the first year would be the lowest compliance because people were the least aware of the brand new tax and the infrastructure to collect isn’t fully implemented,” said Thomas Lannom, director of the Portland Revenue Bureau.
Just 55% have paid and those who have not could be hit with a penalty equal to the amount of the tax. The city expects more people to pay once it’s included in tax preparation programs and as awareness grows.
With the second year of the tax coming due on April 15th, the city is giving people another chance allowing them to pay in thirty days with no penalty.
$3.5 million of the nearly $8 million that the tax will bring in has been distributed to schools and arts organizations despite two lawsuits challenging the law’s constitutionality.