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New withholding tables available. Most Paychecks will grow.

February 28, 2009 --

New Withholding Tables Now Available on IRS.gov; Most Workers Will See Bigger Paychecks this Spring

IRS? The Internal Revenue Service today released new withholding tables that will result in more take-home pay this spring for millions of American workers.  The new tables incorporate the new Making Work Pay credit, one of the key tax provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that became law earlier this week.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Oregon Entrepreneur: Redefining electronics for women

February 27, 2009 --

By Liz Overson
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

Robin Jones, CEO and Co-founder of 88 Inc. of Portland, is working hard to bring a product to market that she feels will transform mobile phone usage for women. In sum, she and her partner are designing headpieces that are ergonomically and aesthetically targeting the female consumer.  Women buy 71% of mobile phones and 51% of consumer electronics today. And Robin’s soon-to-be ready product will zero in on that demographic with their line of fine jewelry that provides all the functionality of today’s headsets, yet in a more attractive and even practical way.

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Food manufacturers are truly recession-proof

February 26, 2009 --

By Ken Niezgoda,
Biz Reporter

The “Recession-Proof” label is typically attached to the health care industry, yet the industry that experienced Oregon’s largest percentage growth in employment last year was Food Manufacturing. With 1800 new jobs added in the past year, Food Manufacturing increased its workforce 7.9 percent, according to current employment statistics released by the Oregon Employment Department.

Manufacturing employment as a whole dropped 8.3 percent, according to the report. Food Manufacturing saw its largest employment growth in the Food and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty sub-category. The increase is consistent with the philosophy that consumers are putting their dollars into basic products and services.

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Do Oregon’s energy tax credits help or hurt the economy?

February 25, 2009 --

By Dr. Eric Fruits,
Econinternational

Tomorrow morning, Oregon’s House Revenue Committee will be taking public input on a bill to limit the state’s business energy tax credits.  Oregon’s Business Energy Tax Credit program (BETC) gives a tax credit to businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations to spend money on projects intended to reduce energy consumption. If a business has no tax obligation, it can sell its credits to another business to help reduce the buyer’s tax obligation. As a result, businesses, governments, and nonprofits have an incentive to label standard business practices as energy conservation projects. For example, an employer that puts in bike racks or subsidizes its employees’ bus passes can qualify for the credit.

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New Unemployment Insurance Bills Expose Employers to Higher Taxes

February 24, 2009 --

By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries,

A package of unemployment bills introduced in the past week may substantially add to employers’ tax liability concerns, according to numbers furnished by the Oregon Employment Department.  SB 461, SB 462, and SB 463 were introduced and assigned to the Senate Commerce & Workforce Development Committee, where SB 462 and SB 463 received their initial public hearing this week.

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Inventories Point to Worse Economic Forecast

February 23, 2009 --

By Bill Conerly,
Businomics, Conerly Consulting LLC

I’ve lowered my economic forecast for 2009 based on inventory data which I’ve recently studied.  Here’s the long-run picture:

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Law Changes for COBRA and SCHIP

February 22, 2009 --

Bullard, Smith, Jernstedt & Wilson Law Firm
EAlert 2/16/09

STIMULUS BILL MANDATES COBRA CHANGES

Tomorrow President Obama is expected to sign the much-debated stimulus bill (officially the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”) that the House and Senate passed last week. The ARRA changes certain rules relating to continuation coverage from employer-sponsored health plans. The changes apply to public employers’ plans as well as private-sector employers’ plans, and one of the changes even applies to employers who are not subject to the federal COBRA rules.

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Oregon Ends Rolling Reconnect to Federal Tax Code

February 21, 2009 --

By Oregon Society of CPAs,

In the 1990s Oregon adopted legislation to provide that the Oregon definition of taxable income would automatically tie to changes in the federal definition of taxable income.  As the 2009 Legislature convened, they became very concerned about the newest stimulus package that was moving through Congress, and what it might mean in terms of lost tax dollars to the state of Oregon.  Democrats in both the House and Senate quickly moved a bill through the Legislature to change the connection date to the Internal Revenue Code to December 31, 2008.  Therefore, although all changes through the end of 2008 were automatically picked up, Oregon’s definition of taxable income will no longer be automatically tied to the Internal Revenue Code.

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If your system crashed right now would you be ready?

February 20, 2009 --

By Chris Benson
Owner of GeeksAKnockin’ LLC,

Imagine if you came in to your office tomorrow and found that your laptop/desktop/server had been stolen.  How long could your business continue to operate without access to the information on those computers?  How much would it cost to recreate all the company records, customer lists, documents, emails, and financial data, and would it even be possible?  Thankfully, there are easy and comparatively inexpensive ways to quickly recover from disaster.

Read the full article and discuss it »

HP sales decline. A look at the numbers

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Hewlett-Packard recently announced a 13% drop in quarterly profit.  Here is where they are decline and where they are rising;

PCs -19%
Printer -19%
Servers -18%
Software -7%
Services +116% *

* = Service increase due to acquisition

Read the full article and discuss it »
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