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Student artwork funded by Portland Arts Tax
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 13 July 2020

Time is running out for Portland residents to pay the $35 Arts Education and Access Income Tax by the July 15 deadline, which was extended as a COVID-19 relief measure.

Approved by voters in 2012, this annual tax helps pay for 92 kindergarten through fifth grade art and music teachers in Portland-area schools and improves arts access through grants administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council. The Arts Tax has generated over $77 million in its first seven years.

The tax is due for adult Portland residents with income of $1,000 or more, including anyone who moved into or out of Portland during 2019. Adults with income less than $1,000 during the tax year, or who are below the federal poverty level, may claim an exemption by filing the Arts Tax return.

Penalty for late payment after July 15

Portland residents can file and pay online at Portland.gov/artstax. It takes most people three to four minutes to complete the filing process and receive an e-mail receipt.

Earlier this year, the City’s revenue division mailed tax returns and reminders to every Portland address. An email reminder was recently sent to taxpayers who have previously provided an email address and had not already filed or paid by late June.

As the community adapts to COVID-19, the Arts Tax continues to support the arts in Portland’s elementary schools. RACC plans to work with school districts to help develop new criteria for arts and music education. In addition, they will help support the network of teaching artists to adapt their traditional in-person curriculum to digital platforms.

"Funding from the Arts Tax is more critical than ever," said Giyen Kim, Portland's City Arts Manager. "As we have seen from past economic downturns, arts education often is the first to be cut from school budgets. The Arts Tax ensures that there will always be dedicated funding for arts and music education for Portland’s elementary schools."

Since the Arts Tax is an income tax, there is no “bill.” Taxpayers must complete and file the Arts Tax return and pay the tax by July 15 to avoid a penalty.

While it is fast and easy to pay online, there are other ways to file and pay the Arts Tax:

  • File online and mail a check with a voucher printed from the website.
  • Print the Arts Tax form from leading tax preparation software products like H&R Block and TurboTax, and mail it in with a payment.
  • Download and print a tax year 2019 Arts Tax form, which is available in English and 10 additional languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.


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