Are you eligible for a permanent exemption from the Arts Tax?

CITY OF PORTLAND OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND FINANCE
BUREAU OF REVENUE AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 19, 2015
Contact: Thomas W. Lannom  Revenue Division Director (503) 823-5154

Reminder: $35 Arts Tax Payment is Due April 15
The City of Portland Revenue Division is now accepting payments for the Arts Education and Access Income Tax (“Arts Tax”) approved by Portland voters in 2012. The annual tax is due on April 15 and is $35 for most Portland residents. Last week the Revenue Division began sending 142,000 Arts Tax reminder e-mails to Portlanders as the first step in a planned series of notifications.
Portlanders can file and pay the $35 Arts Tax online at www.portlandoregon.gov/artstax by selecting “File/Pay My 2014 Arts Tax.” It takes most people three to four minutes to complete the payment process and receive an e-mail receipt.
“It is our hope that many Portlanders will choose to file and pay online,” noted Revenue Division Director Thomas Lannom. “Paying online is fast, easy, green, and keeps administration costs low so more money flows to schools and arts organizations,” he added.

There are four other ways to file and pay the Arts Tax:
1) Taxpayers can file online and choose to pay by mailing in a check with a voucher they can print out from the website.
2) New this year, the Arts Tax form is available in leading tax preparation software products like H&R Block and TurboTax (starting March 5).
3) Taxpayers can pick up a paper tax return by visiting our office at 111 SW Columbia Street or their local library or neighborhood office beginning in March.
4) Taxpayers that have not filed by March 2 will receive a paper tax return in the mail. Filing online before March 2 removes the taxpayer from the list to receive a paper form which reduces program administration costs.

Also new this year:
1) A Permanent Senior Filing Exemption Program. Qualifying taxpayers 70 years
old or older with only non-taxable income (for example, Social Security, Federal Employee Retirement, Oregon Public Employee Retirement, U.S. Treasury interest) OR income below the 2014 federal poverty-level can request a permanent senior filing exemption. For more information call the Arts Tax helpline at 503-865-4ART (4278). A downloadable copy of the exemption form for seniors is available at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/article/519703.

2) The Arts Tax form is now available in 10 languages at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/66844.  Available languages include Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Laotian, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

The Arts Tax funds about 70 art and music teachers in Portland area schools as well as local arts organizations through a partnership with the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC). Schools and RACC have received a combined $15.5 million to date.

Tax disbursement details are available at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/revenue/64767. For a list of arts organizations receiving funding, visit the RACC website at www.RACC.org/AEAFgrants.