The annual Arts Tax is due at the same time as your federal tax return, which this year is Monday, April 18. Filing and paying the Arts Tax (or claiming an exemption) can be done online, by mail or in person. There are no extensions available and residents are required to file even if they do not owe the tax.
The tax is $35 for each Portland resident age 18 and older that earns income above the federal poverty level and has $1,000 or more income. Those whose income is below the federal poverty level may request an exemption to paying the tax.
To file, residents need five pieces of information: name, address, email address, Social Security number and date of birth. Visit portland.gov/revenue/pay-arts-tax to pay online, file an exemption or download the Art Tax Return to send in by mail or return to the Revenue Division in person at 111 SW Columbia Street, Ste. 600.
The net revenues from the Arts Education and Access Income Tax provides six public school districts in the city of Portland – Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds and Riverdale – with at least one certified arts or music education teacher for every 500 Kindergarten-5th grade students.
Through grants, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) distributes the remaining funds to partners and increases arts access to underserved communities. RACC decides which non-profit Portland arts organization will get funds based on their contract with the City.
From 2012 (the first tax year the tax was applied) to 2020, just over $99 million was collected. Nearly $63 million was disbursed to schools, approximately $25 million went to the RACC and the remaining funds allocated to collection costs.
Unpaid Arts Taxes will be assessed a $15 penalty the day after it is due (April 19), with an additional $20 penalty assessed if it is unpaid six months or more after the due date. The Revenue Division will make multiple attempts to encourage taxpayers to file and pay before it is referred to a third-party collection agency.
Questions can be directed to ArtsTaxHelp@portlandoregon.gov or 503.865.4278.