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7 Things You May Not Know About Payroll Taxes

November 29, 2013 --

By NFIB
Payroll taxes are a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you know all the facts.

Any time the federal government, a state government and a small business intersects, there are bound to be nuances. And when it comes to payroll taxes, those details matter; tax authorities take very seriously the withholding and remitting of funds from employees’ paychecks.

Here, then, are seven things you may not know about payroll taxes and certainly should.

1. Tax liability in other states.

If a business has employees in multiple states, payroll taxes may get more complex. Different states have their own rules regarding how payroll taxes are handled, as well as different rates in certain areas. “Hiring people to work for you in other states potentially creates unemployment tax liability in those states,” says NFIB member Sam Kerch, resident CPA and director of finance at Symmetry Software in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Check with the states you are dealing with to determine what other taxes you may be subject to.”

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Cap & Trade for Oregon gas?

November 27, 2013 --

Associated Oregon industries

by John Ledger

Low Carbon Fuels May Ignite Next Session

Oregon’s attempt to impose a Cap & Trade-like system on gasoline and diesel took a new twist recently when the Ninth Circuit Court sent California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) back to the lower courts. The proponents in California see this as good news (it wasn’t declared unconstitutional), but raises serious doubts about its legality in Oregon.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that only California was exempt from the Federal Clean Air Act’s preemption on individual state fuel blends thus raising the argument that Oregon’s program is preempted by federal law. On the other hand, the Oregon Department of Justice disagrees with the preemption angle and supports the LCFS restrictions. Should the program be enacted, a prolonged legal battle is all but inevitable.

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard imposes increasing amounts of ethanol from various sources, specially blended and produced for Oregon, finally requires the supplier to purchase greenhouse gas offsets from some yet to be established market. Costs will be passed on to Oregon consumers in the form of higher gas and diesel prices. California and Oregon would be the only states with a LCFS mandate, although California’s would be less stringent than ours.

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Ore. minimum wage soars — Expect a $20 Whopper?

November 26, 2013 --

nfib-logo
By Jan Meekcoms
Oregon NFIB
(Originally published in Salem Business Journal)

Anti-fast-food crusaders rejoice! Your cause is getting some unexpected – and likely unintended – traction from the twin threats to burgers and fries everywhere: Obamacare and the state’s minimum-wage rate.

To take the latter first, the minimum wage has always been, and will always be, an entry-level wage, paid those just entering the workforce. As the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put it in its biennial Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers report, “Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 21 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 3 percent of workers age 25 and over.”

In other words, it is extremely rare for a head-of-household to be trying to raise a family on the minimum wage. In fact, the teens and young adults who start out at the minimum wage don’t stay there very long. That’s why boosting the minimum wage rate has the commensurate effect of lowering employment for teens, young adults, and even adults and seniors looking to earn a little extra cash.

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Timbers are 3rd Most Valuable – Who is Laughing Now?

November 25, 2013 --


Patrick Emerson PhD ,

OSU Economist
Oregon Economics Blog

There was some predictable guffawing round about the time Merritt Paulson was contemplating selling the Beavers baseball team and trying to get the city on board with the plan to convert Civic Stadium to a soccer-specific facility.  Soccer, they said, is never going to make it in America, what a stupid investment.

I defended him and the deal at the time and I have never regretted it.  But I was especially offended at the characterization of Paulson as a rich-boy rube that is going to take a bath on the MLS deal and take the city down with him.  Well, it has been a couple of years so let’s take a look at where this whole cockamamy MLS-in-Portland thingy stands.

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Inside world’s most advanced, hi-tech sports arena

November 23, 2013 --

Bloomberg Businessweek video takes an inside look into the San Fransisco 49er arena

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Latest Data: Oregon stuck in second gear

November 21, 2013 --

Patrick Emerson PhD ,
OSU Economist
Oregon Economics Blog

Oregon lost 500 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis after posting two very solid monthly gains 3,300 in September and 5,600 in August. Government employment continues to drag on the overall recovery with government jobs declining by 1,000.  The Oregon unemployment rate fell to 7.7% (there was a loss of over 9,000 from the labor force) which is only slightly above the national rate of 7.3%.  So, not much new to say, Oregon has had a sustained recovery for quite a while now but the recovery can’t seem to get out of second gear. The sequester, dysfunctional federal government and continues weakness in Europe are not helping. But at least the trend is upward….

chart-patrick-nov13

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Legislative Session triggers new BOLI rules

November 20, 2013 --

Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

2013 Legislative Session Triggers New BOLI Rulemaking

The Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) has released proposed rules and amendments to bring its rules in line with laws passed by the Oregon legislature’s 2013 session.

The laws underlying these rule changes include new posting requirements related to domestic violence and harassment laws; expanding the definition of “victim of harassment” by adding “any other person who has suffered financial, social, psychological or physical harm”; an additional qualifying reason for leave for the death of a family member under the Oregon’s Family Medical Leave Act; changes to the direct deposit of wages; and extending employment discrimination protection to interns.

To view the complete list of proposed rules and amendments click here. Barran Liebman has written on these important legislative changes in previous alerts. For more on the laws underlying these rule changes please see the following alerts:

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Union submits health care ballot measure

November 19, 2013 --

by Betsy Earls
Associated Oregon Industries

As if the 10 tax increase proposals SEIU has already filed for November 2014 weren’t enough, the union may be adding up to five new ballot measures aimed directly at Oregon hospitals. The potential ballot measures are part of the SEIU’s Act Now for a Healthy Oregon initiative that “promotes access to quality, affordable health care for all Oregonians.” While no one would argue with the goal of providing high-quality, affordable health care for Oregonians, the manner and timing in which the initiatives seek to meet those goals are problematic.

The measures we expect to see include: charity care thresholds; requirements for uniform pricing; caps on executive compensation; and two transparency measures that require public postings of hospital charges and quality performance. Click here to view the summary of the proposed measures.

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State post-recession home values fell 11%

November 18, 2013 --

psu-portland-stateStatistics from Portland State University shed light on Oregon’s post-recession housing values
John Kirkland
Portland State University

Oregon’s median housing value and home ownership rate were both significantly lower during the three-year period from 2010 to 2012 compared to the three years prior, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and its Oregon data dissemination partner, Portland State University’s (PSU) Population Research Center. These latest statistics are part of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are available for all areas in the United States with populations of 20,000 or more. Demographic, housing, social, and economic characteristics are available from the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder. The survey gives a snapshot of home ownership in the period immediately following the recession compared with the three years that came before. The post-recession median home ownership rate in Oregon was 61.6 percent — a decrease from 63.9 percent from 2007-2009, the survey showed. The state’s median home value was $233,900, down from $263,200 in 2007-2009 — a drop of more than 11 percent.

Most other states in the country also recorded significantly lower home values and homeownership rates during the 2010 to 2012 period.

Other Oregon statistics showed:

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Biz Boom: Walk-in 3D portraits studio

November 16, 2013 --

Interesting business where you scan customers to create 3D portraits.

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