Whoever did the ad buys for Americans for the Arts screwed them, screwed arts enthusiasts, and screwed taxpayers.

Great agency – Americans for the Arts. Somehow they’ve finagled some ready cash to do a national promotion. Possibly the least effective way at the highest cost to promote the arts is with billboards, like this one on Highway 30 which heads North to Astoria.

Well, the neutral bystander might say, the ad space is probably surplus and donated by those nice folks at Clear Channel. They love the arts.

Wrong. Even if the ad space is a donation to Americans for the Arts, Clear Channel will deduct it’s retail value from their taxes. Since, as you can see, the location was probably entirely ineffective, there is little benefit to the arts and total benefit to Clear Channel.

And consider the bitter irony of Clear Channel’s protracted battle with the City of Portland to secure the number of billboards which has resulted in a ridiculous bureaucratic hurtle for public artists, stifling creativity and creation.

Speaking of reasons to hate the rich, if you’re still a patsy for the Pearl District, note tax assessments in Portland are available online. Check out the home of (semi-randomly chosen person) Ray Davis, CEO of Umpqua Bank. Market value as listed by the city? $973,100. Assessed value? $8,600. Annual property tax Mr. Davis pays? $136.07. Check out how much you’ll pay, or will pay through your landlord at Portland Maps. Property taxes pay for schools, arts education for children, and for agencies like RACC. If you’re not paying property taxes, you’re not supporting the arts.

Thanks to Jim at SavePortland.com!