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Readers' Letters: Find a way to collect B&B rental taxes

Thanks for the article by Peter Korn about the loss of rental house tax revenue (House rentals hide in shadows, Jan. 3). The article states the city could have $1 million more if the city ordinance were enforced.

The city also gets about 20 percent of Multnomah County property tax revenue collected from properties located in the city. Currently, there are $1.2 billion in delinquent property taxes in Multnomah County. Current state law will require six to eight years to collect delinquent amounts.

Perhaps we should change the law to allow collection from assets, other than the property from which the tax is due, and allow collection immediately upon assessment of the tax instead of six to eight years later.

Of course, if we want more money for schools, we could ask the governor to collect the $1 billion due, and unpaid, to the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Gordon Hillesland

Southeast Portland

Don’t wait for tax reform

Regarding the inequities of property taxes within Multnomah County (Similar Properties, Unequal Taxes, Jan. 10), this is indeed an issue that should have been addressed long ago.

It isn’t just east of 82nd folks who pay more relative to places like North and Northeast Portland. My home is well west of 82nd, in the Southeast South Tabor neighborhood, and has property taxes that are two or three times higher than many homes in North and Northeast with comparable or higher market values. Some of those taxes are equal to what I was paying on my same house 25 years ago.

It seems to me any comprehensive tax reform needs to not only raise those low taxes, but lower my high taxes, which themselves are about equal to a mortgage payment. And how about doing it now, rather than waiting for someone to sell their house?

Steve Reinemer

Southeast Portland

Story’s falsehoods are destructive

Your recent article on methadone maintenance and Oxford Houses (Methadone Finds Its Way into Clean, Sober Housing, Jan. 17) was biased and poorly written. Elizabeth Smith, a woman who apparently has no credentials or expertise on harm reduction whatsoever, is treated like her opinion is the final word on methadone maintenance programs.

The falsehoods this article serves to promote are ultimately destructive and counterproductive. While many people on methadone do continue to use, there are also many patients who are able to use these programs to become stable and better their lives.

Tell both sides of the story. Shame.

Ross Robbins

Northeast Portland

Treatment argument settled long ago

You talk about medication-assisted treatment (Methadone Finds Its Way into Clean, Sober Housing, Jan. 17) as if the jury is still out among the scientific community regarding the efficacy and utility of this philosophy.

Unfortunately, given the vast quantity of data supporting and the utter failure of past treatment modalities — so-called “abstinence-based treatment” — the jury went home a long time ago.

Past models boast a 10 percent likelihood of success, whereas MAT has been shown to help 40 to 50 percent in study after study (citations gladly provided).

Please, as a public health issue, if not a matter of basic science, it is high time we welcome our brothers and sisters in MAT into recovery community without prejudice.

Ian McLoone

Minneapolis

Sick pay issue drives away business

Paid sick leave for the city of Portland. Are you kidding? You will have every small business in Portland leaving.

Sick leave is covered by FLMA and Oregon Family leave for 50 employees.

I am a CEO of a small business in Portland. Capitalism is what makes our world and small business creates jobs. Most small businesses do give vacations.

When are our elected representatives going to get it that they are driving small business out of Multnomah County and Portland, and need to stay out of business decisions that owners should make, especially since most of them have never cut a payroll? They sit at the government trough and PERS.

Zeta Rennie

Southwest Portland