High traffic doesn’t mean high sales. Hawthorne is high traffic but the majority of shops on the street are small and don’t bring in the kind of revenue that the Fred Meyer does, so it doesn’t make sense to charge a flat fee for every business or a flat-tax, the best idea would be sliding-scale tax based on the businesses profits.
In this case it’s important to take some of the pressure off businesses because Portland is all about local economy which is great for the residents, but not so nice if the city needs vast sums of money. Plus, if Portland is realistically thinking about raising the minimum wage then its people can realistically contribute to have the streets fixed.
Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but the money has to come from somewhere. I think it would make the most sense to ditch the income tax and switch to a sales tax, but Oregon prides itself on not having a sales tax. At this point, if we want our roads fixed the street-fee sounds like a good idea.
Not every road is owned by the city. So if we’re all going to invest in this then we also need to make sure the state and federal government get to work on their end as well. Otherwise there will always be that one person who complains about the highway.
Surely we can look at a few budgets, analyze there spending history and see if various departments are really going to spend all the money they’re allotted. For instance that extra $30 in my checking at the end of the week goes into saving’s instead of candy and video-games.