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Tax breaks to some hurt many others

When the Portland Tribune first hit my porch, I discounted it as just another bit of journalistic fluff.ÊI was very wrong!Ê

If the issue is controversial, exposes police ineptitude, explains the full extent of the tax breaks given to favored, important high-end developers or showcases a local asset, I look to the Tribune. Thank you for giving the details behind local stories.

The tax breaks to developers really irked me as I am a tax practitionerÊand have seen elderly clients who have to abandon homes in Irvington, Hollywood and Alameda because of skyrocketing taxes (Tax break rankles in tight times, June 27). In one case I'm familiar with, the annual taxes were exactly the same as the couple had paid for the house!

Oddly, we subsidize an $840,000 condo by granting taxes of $146 a year. Is this what we now consider affordable housing?Ê

I fear the same will be done on the South Waterfront. Looks like Portland wants to mirror new federal taxation by subsidizing the wealthy. Where were city officials when all these subsidies were granted?

Eileen McDermott

Northeast Portland

Maestro's words

made an impression

Thanks so much for printing James DePreist's Portland State University commencement address (A nation that closes its eyes is sure to stumble sometime, Insight, July 8). It was a great talk, and extremely well-received by the nearly 20,000 people in the audience. We've had so many grads calling to get a copy of it; now I can refer them to the Tribune.

Pat Squire

Lake Oswego

Consider all the things big league ball can do

William Michtom's letter (Sports fans can also be practical, July 1) does a good job of identifying the classic Oregon 'I cannot do anything to help myself' attitude. Michtom cites numerous reasons why we should not work to bring major league baseball to Oregon. Added to the regular litany, Michtom brings a new idea: The Blazers are an embarrassment to us, so we should not work to bring more professional athletes to Oregon. Now, there is a reason!

I, too, agree that no tax funds should be diverted from any service to pay for a franchise or a ballpark. But if this can be accomplished with no tax dollars through the issuing of bonds (and having them paid off by taxing millionaires' salaries), then why not? The biggest reason people are against this idea is the doom and gloom attitude about doing anything proactive in Oregon. The economy is down Ñ oh, poor us. The state budget is a mess and programs are being cut ÑÊoh, poor us.

Let's be positive and creative for once. If we could bring a major league team to Oregon, with no cut in funds to government services, wouldn't that only be a positive? Could we consider placing a special tax on all beer served at the new park to add to funds going to alcohol treatment programs? Could we consider requiring the operators of the park to hire a certain number of employees from the state's job program to reduce the number of people on unemployment or welfare? Could we require the operators of the facility to have their grounds crew perform maintenance on Portland Public Schools' baseball fields to reduce the cost to the school district? Many possibilities can be thought of with a positive attitude.

Why do we focus on all the potential negatives and not the potential positives? Is it the gray, rainy weather that creates the gray, negative moods of Oregonians?

John Powel

Southwest Portland