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Oregonians flock to Washington to avoid tax bite

February 28, 2011 --

Oregonians flock to Washington to avoid tax bite
By Oregon Tax News,

Despite the decline in home sales, Clark County attracted 22 percent more out-of-town residents in 2010 than in 2009. Real estate experts believe the absence of income tax and low home prices contributed to the influx of new residents. Clark County boasts some of the lowest home prices in the Portland-Vancouver metro area.

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Recession forcing workers to show up on time

February 27, 2011 --

Recession forcing workers to show up on time as survey shows improved punctuality in the workplace,
— Hiring Managers Share Most Outrageous Tardiness Excuses
Career Builders Survey,

CHICAGO, February 23, 2011 – Since the recession began, more workers are starting their work day on time. A new CareerBuilder survey reveals that 15 percent of workers said they arrive late to work once a week or more, down from 16 percent in 2009 and 20 percent in 2008. This national survey was conducted among 2,482 U.S. employers and 3,910 U.S. employees between November 15 and December 2, 2010.

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Ad Watch: Chamber tries to sell free trade

February 26, 2011 --

Ad Watch:
Below is the text from a full page ad being put out by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help expand free trade in American at a time when many free trade agreements are stalled.

When it comes to trade, foreign exporters have all the aces.
American companies are forced to pay high tariffs when exporting to countries like Korea, Colombia, and Panama, yet those same countries pay little or no tariffs when they sell their goods in our market. This puts our nation’s businesses at a disadvantage, and hurts American workers and farmers who are already struggling in a tough economy.

The U.S. Chamber applauds President Obama’s commitment to seek Congressional approval of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. But we also need to approve the agreements with Colombia and Panama—now.

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Changes to gift and estate tax law

February 25, 2011 --

Portability of Unused Estate Tax Exemption under TRA 2010
By Ater Wynne LLP,
Oregon law firm

In December, 2010, the Tax Relief Act of 2010 (TRA) was signed into law. While TRA extends many of the so-called Bush tax cuts, it introduces new concepts into the gift and estate tax law. One such concept is that of portability which permits the surviving spouse to take the unused portion of the last deceased spouse’s federal exemption and aggregate it with the surviving spouse’s unused portion. For example, currently each living spouse has a lifetime exemption from gift and estate tax of $5M. If Husband dies in 2011 with an estate of $3.5M which he leaves to Wife, there is no estate tax because of the marital deduction. But Husband has not used any of his $5M exemption (assuming he made no taxable gifts in previous years). Wife dies in 2012 with an estate of $7M. The executor of Wife’s estate may have available all of the Wife’s exemption of $5M and Husband’s unused portion needed to reduce the federal estate tax to zero. Depending upon the state of residence of Husand and Wife, there may be state inheritance/estate taxes to pay. For example, my state of Oregon exempts the first $1M of assets with no portability so Wife would only be able to exempt $1M from Oregon inheritance tax and Husband lost the ability to exempt $1M.

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Oregon: 2011 Legislative Session Preview

February 24, 2011 --

Oregon: 2011 Legislative Session Preview
By Marc Alifanz,
Stoel Rives World of Employment

Oregon’s 76th Legislative Assembly convened on February 1, 2011. The Legislature has wasted no time introducing a multitude of new labor and employment bills, some with potentially far reaching effects. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the more interesting bills up for debate:

Civil Rights:

  • HB 2035 — Standardizes statute of limitations period for filing discrimination lawsuits. A person who has filed a BOLI complaint must file a lawsuit within one year of the occurrence of the unlawful practice or within 90 days of the mailing of BOLI’s 90-day notice, whichever is later.
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Economics behind Portland as youth magnet

February 23, 2011 --

By Patrick Emerson
Oregon Economics Blog

Portland got another national star turn on NPR with a story about the migration of twenty somethings to the city despite relatively high unemployment and low pay. The usual suspects are trotted out as reasons – lifestyle, hipsters beget more hipsters, etc.

It seems to me, however, there are two points that keep getting missed in the discussion that provide the essential linkages to provide at least a plausible explanation of the phenomenon.

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Legislative tax issues advancing

February 22, 2011 --

By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries

As the Oregon Legislature heads into its second full week of work, the major tax issues of 2011 are becoming clear. The House and Senate Revenue Committees are already holding public hearings on key issues while the framework of at least one major proposal is being vetted by several business groups, including AOI.

Connection to the Federal Tax Code. Although Oregon is connected to the federal tax code beginning in 2011, we are disconnected in some key areas for tax year 2010. AOI and other business groups are asking the legislature to remove some of the confusion around 2010 tax filings and establish connection to the federal tax code in these key areas:

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Where jobs are growing, shrinking in Oregon

February 21, 2011 --

If you want to which jobs are hiring and which are firing in Oregon, take a look at the graph below by the Oregon Employment Department.   There appears to be lots of hiring in information jobs, mining and leisure/hospitality sections.   Those jobs that are not hiring but firing would be manufacturing and financial services.



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Poll: Business travel cut-backs may be harming sales

February 20, 2011 --

Poll: Business travel cut-backs may be harming sales
By Career Builders

CHICAGO, February 16, 2011 – As companies carefully watched their budgets in 2010, many were reluctant to send their employees on planes, trains and automobiles. A new CareerBuilder survey reports that three-in-ten (30 percent) companies said they cut back on business travel last year, and of those companies, more than one-third (37 percent) said it negatively affected their business. The nationwide survey was conducted among more than 2,400 U.S. employers and more than 3,900 U.S. workers between November 15 and December 2, 2010.

When asked how fewer business trips affected their bottom lines, companies reported the following:

– Less effective internal communication – 12 percent

– Fewer sales – 11 percent

– Less effective execution on internal business initiatives – 10 percent

– Less customer loyalty – 8 percent

When it comes to business travel in 2011, the majority of companies (77 percent) report that business travel levels will stay the same as last year. Eleven percent said they will their companies will take more business trips this year, while 13 percent said business travel will decrease.

“Business travel is an important part of many companies’ operations as it lets them stay connected with clients and employees across the globe,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. “Some companies are revisiting their policies, though, to ensure they’re maximizing the effectiveness of their business travel initiatives.”

In addition to keeping a close eye on how much travel is taking place, nearly one-third (32 percent) of companies said they are also placing specific restrictions on business travel for employees since the recession, asking them to fly coach, lowering entertainment budgets, and having them only travel domestically.

Web conferencing is another way companies are keeping business travel budgets in check. Forty-two percent of companies said they rely more on phone/Web conferencing now to conduct business with clients, with 31 percent saying they get just as much out of virtual meetings as face-to-face meetings.

The majority of workers (68 percent) surveyed said they never travel for business, while 6 percent said they travel every other week or more. Five percent said they travel every other month. In addition, 19 percent of those who travel for business said the amount they travel negatively affects their home life.

When asked what most unusual experience they’ve had on a business trip, respondents reported the following:

Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.

Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.

A client mooned the plane.

A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.

A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.

U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.

A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.

A woman gave birth on the flight.

After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear. Got locked out and could be viewed by the elevator which was all glass windows.

Manager punched a co-worker on the plane.

Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.
Survey Methodology This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of among 2,482 U.S. employers and 3,910 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,482 and 3,910 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.97 and +/- 1.57 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. About CareerBuilder® CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

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Ad Watch: Taco Bell hits critics over seasoned beef claim

February 19, 2011 --

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Ad watch — Taco Bell has made headlines this year for accusations that the Taco Bell fast food chain is not using real beef.   Taco Bell sternly defends it self in this full-page newspaper ad.   It goes right for the attention by stating “Thank you for suing us”.   The ad even suggests that those who make such false claims are making themselves open to legal action.    The ad walks the reader through the ingredients of its seasoned beef as to dispel any rumors.


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