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Micro-businesses dominate Oregon business landscape

January 31, 2013 --
Firms by size class first quarter 2012Portrait of Oregon Businesses by Size of Firm

by Phoebe Colman
Oregon Employment Department

What does it mean to talk about business size? In public policy discussions it often means analyzing relationships between the size of a business and its impact on the economy. In the United States, a common point of debate is whether small businesses are the drivers of private sector job creation. Underlying this debate are numerous statistical and measurement issues that make definitive answers difficult to come by.

The purpose of this article is to provide information about Oregon private-sector businesses by size of firm, with careful attention to how such firms are classified and counted. The figures presented here offer details about Oregon’s economy at a specific point in time, but they do not describe dynamic processes such as economic growth or job creation. Because of the nature of the data, this analysis makes no claims for or against the job-creating power of small businesses.

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Walden proposes “No Budget, No Pay” Act

January 29, 2013 --

Congressman Greg Walden

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) issued the following statement upon House passage of the “No Budget, No Pay” plan:

“In our part of Oregon, families sit down around their kitchen tables and figure out how to balance their budgets. It’s time for Washington, D.C. to do the same. If hardworking taxpayers don’t do their jobs, they don’t get paid. Congress needs to live by the same rules—no budget, no pay.

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Does Oregon protect landowners if their tenant is a criminal?


By Gene Grant ,Real Estate

Davis Dwight & Tremaine LLP
Oregon business law firm

As originally published in the Daily Journal of Commerce

Landlords, whether residential or commercial, almost always include in their leases three requirements dealing with legal compliance. First, the lease limits the premises to specific legal use(s) or expressly allows any legal use of the premises. Second, the lease requires the tenant to comply with all legal requirements applicable to the premises and its operations. Third, the lease gives the landlord the right to inspect the premises to verify that these first two requirements are being satisfied.

Today, these provisions are more important than ever for landlords, because of the prevalence of illegal drug operations and particularly marijuana operations resulting from at least partial legalization in both Oregon and Washington. The government has the right to forfeit not only the tenant’s interest in the premises but also the landlord’s interest if the landlord cannot prove it is innocent of a convicted tenant’s criminal use of the premises.

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Payroll Tax Impact

January 28, 2013 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was actually enacted in 2013, was the result of the last minute fiscal cliff negotiations and contains myriad tax and spending provisions. Included in the bill was a two month delay in the budget sequestration, a return of the top marginal personal income tax rate to 39.6%, a permanent AMT patch, adjustments to the personal exemption phaseout, estate tax, bonus depreciation and many more. While all of these items are important in one way or another, probably the two items that have the most immediate impact are the one year extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits and the expiration of the 2% payroll tax cut. The reason being are these actions affect individuals’ income immediately, while some of the other provisions have longer-run impacts.

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Study: What perks work best at keeping employees

January 27, 2013 --

CareerBuilder Survey Reveals Most Wanted Office Perks and What Motivates Workers to Stay With Companies
By Career

If you could have one perk – any perk – in your workplace, what would it be? If you had the choice, would you rather have a bigger title or a bigger office? If you were thinking about leaving your company, what would make you stay? A new CareerBuilder survey explores which job factors are most important to today’s workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012.

Nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in 2013. While most workers (66 percent) stated that they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one in four (25 percent) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.

How important is title?

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Car uses retina scan to follow driver

January 26, 2013 --

Hyundai is showing a new model car concept where the dash is equipped with a retina scanner to follow the attention and needs of the driver. Watch the short CNN video demonstration below.

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Danger Zone: Independent Contractor or Employee?

January 25, 2013 --

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Today’s employers, pressured by a recovery that still feels like a recession on Main Street, are doing their best to control costs. Since a major part of any business’s cost structure is staff, cutting costs means reducing payroll. At the same time, individuals, bludgeoned by high unemployment, are happy to have any work at all—even contract jobs without benefits.

In this environment, companies will stretch the definition of independent contractor as far as they can to avoid providing benefits or paying taxes—as will workers who are happy not to have taxes taken out from their checks.

One would think when businesses and workers are both willing to have work performed on an independent contractor basis, that would be the end of the discussion. Surely parties can structure a work relationship however they like?

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Why You Should Care About Portland’s Mandatory Sick Leave Proposal

January 24, 2013 --

Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

On January 17, Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz released a proposal that, if passed, will require all Portland employers to provide sick leave to employees. Employers with six or more employees will have to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year (one hour for every 30 hours worked). Employers with five or fewer employees will have to provide the same number of hours of unpaid sick leave. In either case, employees must work a minimum of 240 hours per calendar year within Portland to qualify for sick leave.

Employers who already provide employees with a minimum of 40 hours per calendar year of paid or unpaid time off through a Paid Time Off policy would not be required to provide additional sick leave, provided the employers’ policies allow leave to be taken for the same purposes as those provided for in the proposed ordinance. The proposal also prohibits retaliatory actions against employees who take sick leave.

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Top 2012 Business Complaints by Inudustry

January 23, 2013 --

By Oregon Better Business Bureau

Which industries are drawing in the highest number of inquiries and complaints? Locally, Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington reports the top 20 most-inquired-about and most-complained-about industries of 2012.

1.  Auto Dealers – New Cars
2.  Financial Services
3.  Auto Dealers – Used Cars
4. Payday Loans
5. Animal Hospitals
6. Property Management
7. Magazine Sales
8. Auto Repair & Service
9. Collection Agencies
10. Internet Services

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Fiscal cliff delays Oregon’s tax season

January 22, 2013 --

Revenue-Dept-OregonBy Oregon Department of Revenue

The Oregon Department of Revenue announced today that its tax processing season will get a later start than usual this year, due to late tax law changes made by Congress to resolve the “fiscal cliff” crisis.

The Internal Revenue Service’s 2013 filing season will start January 30, eight days after its originally planned kickoff date of January 22. That’s when the IRS will begin processing individual income tax returns filed electronically and on paper.

Since Oregon can’t start processing electronically filed returns until the IRS opens its electronic filing system, the Department of Revenue will start its 2013 filing season on the same day, said Theresa Schuh, manager of Revenue’s Personal Income Tax Program.

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