Monday, November 26, 2007

An Ethereal Tax

You got to love taxation that is angelic.

City Commissioner Sam Adams, our next mayor presumptive, has pulled off the heavenly association with “Halo” local improvement districts (LIDs) to tax residents for new, nearby sidewalks in some Southwest Portland neighborhoods.

In the past you were taxed only if you lived on the newly side-walked street. Now, as long as you are in the broader "halo" (a cleverly nebulous choice of words), you will be asked to be included in the tax "Halo." (We know all about those who don't live under halos; they're the ones who live under horns.)

Somehow The Oregonian's Tom Hallman, Jr. wrote about “Halo” LIDs without blinking this morning. When the media accept your language, you've won half the battle.

It's all about "subtext" as we say in media literacy. Like “The Death Tax” or “Choice” or “Life” or “climate change” (never “global warming”) or the “Defense Department” or the “Central Intelligence Agency” or "pacification" or "co-lateral damage."

Up next: Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” and “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

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Blogger Eamon said...

The question to ask is this: Will this "halo" tax make it through the city council or will it suffer the same fate of the underground utility tax we voted for nearly ten years ago? Hillsdale voted to establish an underground utility district (UUD) and to tax itself in order to underground utility lines in the shopping district. Despite an affirmative vote by the people and businesses in the UUD, the city managed to stop its establishment. The UUD had a state statute to support its creation. Is there any statute on the books that allows this taxing district?

9:52 PM  

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