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Art tax collection forms are in the mail

The tax man cometh — and he taketh away, for the arts.

The citywide arts tax, approved by voters in November, is being collected in time for tax day, April 15.

The $35 income tax for income-earning adult residents (exempting any under the federal poverty limit)

Due annually by April 15, Portland’s new $35 income tax for income-earning adult residents of Portland (and exempting any taxpayer under the federal poverty limit) is expected to generate about $12.2 million in annual net revenue. Nearly two thirds of city voters approved the measure, officially called the Arts Education & Access Fund.

A new website, www.artstax.net, answers frequently asked questions; provides an overview of the fund’s investments, its Citizen Oversight Committee, and the city code, rules and policies; and offers online payment and exemption request options.

The city Revenue Bureau will also send mailers to all Portland residents.

Thomas Lannom, Portland Revenue Bureau director, believes as many as 20 percent to 40 percent of taxpayers will choose to pay online. “We hope many Portlanders will help us avoid the cost and environmental impact of mailing paper forms; people who file before March 25 will not be sent paper forms which saves printing, postage and paper, and ultimately more money will go to the arts,” Lannom says.

With the revenue this fall, nearly 70 elementary school arts teachers will be sustainably funded, every elementary school student in Portland’s six school districts will be guaranteed an arts education, and arts supplies, programs and field trips will be more accessible for all school-age children through grant funding for Portland’s schools and nonprofits.

Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds and Riverdale school districts will benefit from the fund, while grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council will provide Portland’s nonprofit arts organizations with funds they need to make their programs more accessible.

For more information, visit www.theArtsCAN.org.