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City should charge for services to presidential campaign visits

The City should follow its policy and charge for services when presidential campaigns visit the City, according to an audit released on May 31 by City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero.

Cities incur costs – mostly for security provided by Police – when presidential campaigns visit. Portland’s current policy is to bill private entities, including campaigns, for costs.

The City has not billed campaigns for visits in the current campaign cycle. Recent campaign visits from October 2014 to April 2016 cost the city at least $180,000 for Police Bureau time and overtime.

The audit recommends the City follow its current policy and charge political campaigns or event organizers for the costs of City services provided for future candidate visits and to determine whether collecting for recent visits is possible. Police Bureau response to recommendations is included in the report.

PDF of the report can be downloaded here.

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