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CPAs fight H-R Block’s national ad campaign…again

January 31, 2009 --

By Oregon Society of Certified Professional Accountants
News Alert 1/29/08

H&R Block is running a national advertising campaign designed to make consumers question the credibility and value of CPA services. On behalf of the profession, the AICPA is taking the lead in addressing the issue with the CEO of H&R Block. AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon has contacted H&R Block CEO Russ Smyth regarding the severity of the CPA profession’s concerns with the campaign. AICPA has successfully worked with H&R Block in the past regarding earlier controversial advertising campaigns.

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The high costs of cutting carbon emissions

January 30, 2009 --

By Dr. Eric Fruits,

According to a report by consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the world can keep global warming in check if nations spend trillions of dollars on energy efficiency, clean power and forestry projects over the next 20+ years.  In addition to typical annual capital investments, the report concludes that beginning in 2011, additional investments of $475 billion a year would be required to keep global temperatures 2 degrees Celsius below pre-Industrial temperatures. By 2026, the cost would rise to $1.2 trillion a year.

The net present value today of the additional expenditures between 2011 and 2030 would be approximately $7.3 trillion. That is bigger than China’s economy today and equivalent to the economies of Japan and India combined.

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Bills Increasing Corporate Minimum Tax Introduced

January 29, 2009 --

By John Marshall
Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business association

Even though the 2009 Legislative Session convened less than two weeks ago, already two bills proposing to increase the $10 corporate minimum tax have been introduced.   HB 2119, introduced at Governor Kulongoski’s request, imposes the new minimum tax on C-corporations only and bases it on Oregon sales.  The new minimum is bracketed as follows:

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Employers should heed Court ruling on retaliation claims

January 28, 2009 --

Barran Liebman LLP Electronic Alerts
Attorneys practice labor and employment law
Electronic AlertSM, 1/27/09

A Reminder to Be Careful About Potential Retaliation Claims

The United States Supreme Court held yesterday that an employee’s statement about sexual harassment made during a company’s internal investigation warrants protection against retaliation. Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 555 U.S. ___ (2009). This decision is not surprising, but serves as an important reminder to employers: retaliation claims continue to increase.

Almost three years ago, in Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. White, the Court addressed what types of actions by an employer may be retaliatory. The court expanded Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision, holding that it extends beyond workplace-related retaliatory acts and covers any employer action that would have been materially adverse to a reasonable employee. Now, the Court has addressed the other side of the coinwhat actions by an employee deserve protection from retaliation.

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Fast Fact: McDonald’s score 80% profit rise in 2008

January 27, 2009 --

McDonald’s announced on Monday their net profit rose 80% in 2008 and daily average customers hit 56 million.  Link.

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Two flaws challenge Governor’s mileage tax


By Ken Niezgoda, BIZ Reporter

Oregon’s plan to tax drivers based on road use contains the fundamental flaw it attempts to remove: Tax collection that is linked to gas consumption.   As more fuel efficient vehicles hit the road, Oregon’s ability to collect taxes to maintain its multi-billion dollar transportation infrastructure is eroding. Simply put, as gas sales diminish, so does gas tax revenue.

“As Oregonians drive less and demand more fuel efficient vehicles, it is increasingly important that the state find a new way, other than the gas tax, to finance our transportation system,” stated Governor Ted Kulongoski in the Jobs and Transportation Act 2009.

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Fast Fact: Home construction down 15%, permits down 10%

January 26, 2009 --

The National Association of Home Builders reported in their confidence survey that new multi-family and single home construction fell 15.5% in December from November, and residential construction permits fell over 10%.

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Construction Outlook Gloomy According to Architectural Activity


By Bill Conerly, Businomics, Conerly Consulting

Non-residential construction has been a bright spot in the economy.  It dipped last summer, but recovered in the past few months.  The bad news, though, is that architectural activity suggests another round of declines for construction.  After all, the architect works before the contractor starts his job.  Here’s what the American Institute of Architects reports:

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In Their own words: OHSU and the cutbacks

January 24, 2009 --

By Oregon Health Science University,

In response to these challenges, OHSU is reducing costs by $30 million to $35 million for the current financial year.

OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. today provided an update on OHSU’s efforts to respond to the global economic downturn. The downturn has impacted the university in two major ways: a decline in expected investment earnings and slower than anticipated growth in OHSU Healthcare revenues. In response to these challenges, OHSU is reducing costs by $30 million to $35 million for the current financial year.

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Retail legislation only an economist would love

January 23, 2009 --

By Dr. Eric Fruits,

Oregon HB 2388 is an economists dream. It requires a city or county to obtain and review a “comprehensive economic impact study” before approving or disapproving an application to construct a retail facility larger than 75,000 square feet. It also requires that the store pay a fee of $40,000 up-front to pay for the study.

Why would an economist like that?

It means people like me, who have done numerous retail economic impact studies would have a huge increase in work.  And, we would be guaranteed to get paid! 

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