On the one hand, this is a posting about Portland - but it isn't (oh, I like that opening line). Once upon a time Portland had (has) a city commissioner who, like all politicians, seemingly was continously seeking funds. His options were limited, but not his imagination. He dreamed up a new tax, er ... license fee (aka a tax) that he proposed on cell phones, a new tax, er ... license fee that apparently no one had ever thought of before. He was assured that the technology was fesible but the folks weren't too impressed with it. His fellow commissioners didn't embrace it, he recieved all sorts of flack from the public, neighboring governments, cell phone companies, pretty much from everyone. So the majority of politicians would have slinked away and acted as though he'd never heard of the idea, right?
No, no, not our Randy Leonard, no, he's not a man who likes to take no for an answer. He just knew
that this idea had legs; he just had to figure out how to get some more allies. Well, like the movie says, "He's BAAACK!!!" And he is still pushing his idea, but this time with a twist. He now has changed where the money will go, previously he wanted it ear marked for the general fund, now he says he is open to whatever and wherever the city feels it's needed. He's now consulted with some of the folks from the wireless industry, no details were given, but I can't see how that's working in the favor of us the consumers. Here is the icing on the cake, he is talking to the Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management to come up with a piece of statewide legislation that would enable all jurisdictions in Oregon to adopt a wireless tax if they chose to. Okay, everyone who doesn't
think that every
jurisdiction in Oregon will adopt such a tax, given that option raise their hands please. Anyone? Come on, there has to be someone
who believes that government wouldn't grab another source of revenue just because they will be able to, anyone?
So yes, Comissioner Leonard took his failed plan back to the drawing table and figured out a way to gain allies. If it works out, your tax, and please realize it is
a tax will be 7%. Amazingly enough not all of his fellow commissioners have embraced his moment of genius; however, it really hasn't been fully discussed in council. No date has been set, but it is due to be talked about some time this month. Should you wish to link the article, here it is