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Oregon has a secret gas tax

October 31, 2018 --

By Oregon Small Business Association,

The Bend Bulletin recently discovered that people buying gas and diesel at the pumps in Oregon have paid more than $17 million extra since 2016 to subsidize companies that produce low-carbon fuels. But the state Department of Environmental Quality has refused to release the names of the companies that reaped that government largesse through low-carbon fuel credits.

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CA passes nation’s first ‘Internet of Things’ law

October 30, 2018 --

By David Rice
Miller, Nash, Graham and Dunn,
NW Law firm,

California has enacted the nation’s first law regulating Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 28, 2018. IoT refers to the rapidly-expanding world of internet-connected objects such as home security systems, video monitors, enterprise devices that track packages and vehicles, health monitors, connected cars, smart city devices that manage traffic congestion, and smart meters for utilities.

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Wyden: Canada cannabis law should inspire federal change

October 29, 2018 --

US Senator Ron Wyden
Press Release,

“Canada has recognized what Oregonians already understand: cannabis prohibition is a failed policy that wastes resources and destroys lives.

Here in the United States, more and more states are following the lead of Oregonians and legalizing cannabis. Americans across the country, and across party lines, support ending this misguided federal prohibition. Their support has never been stronger and is still growing. Despite this progress, the federal government has yet to provide the reforms we so desperately need. It’s time that changed. Congress should seize the moment, do the right thing, and end the federal prohibition on marijuana once and for all by responsibly regulating and taxing cannabis like any other legal substance.

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Forecast: 2019 slower than 2018

October 27, 2018 --


By Brad Houle, CFA
Ferguson Wellman,
Oregon Capital Management firm

On Wednesday this week the S&P 500 plunged by 3 percent on cumulative fears of slowing economic and earnings growth as well as concerns of a slowdown in China and the Federal Reserve being too aggressive in increasing short-term interest rates. This decline was followed by a 2 percent positive move on Thursday and another decline of more than 1 percent on Friday. Overall, the market has declined nearly 10 percent from its recent high, getting into the territory of a correction which is defined as a decline of 10 percent. While the volatility has been jarring, we believe that this is a normal correction and not signaling a recession or the start of a bear market. Roughly 40 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings for the third quarter of 2018, and earnings growth is robust – up more than 20 percent on a year-over-year basis. In addition, 82 percent of companies reporting have released results that are in excess of the consensus. Despite this impressive gain in earnings, investors have become skeptical and any company that has fallen short of expectations has been severely punished.

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Discount retail study defies age, income assumptions

October 26, 2018 --

National Retail Federation,

Almost all U.S. consumers are value-conscious shoppers who regularly visit discount retailers to find a bargain, according to the latest issue of the quarterly Consumer View report released by the National Retail Federation.

“Looking for the best price is a habit that cuts across almost every demographic,” NRF Vice President for Research Development and Industry Analysis Mark Mathews said. “Regardless of income or generation, virtually everyone wants a bargain whether it’s for everyday necessities or big-ticket splurges. Even those who can afford to shop elsewhere love finding a ‘steal,’ and it’s a habit that’s here to stay.”

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Did we hit Peak Renters?

October 25, 2018 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Three years ago our office asked “Is 2015 Peak Renter?” We laid out a straightforward case examining the three main underlying drivers for the shift into rentership over the previous decade: household finances, demographics, and preferences and tastes. The question was not whether the pendulum would swing back toward ownership, it definitely would, but rather when would it would begin to swing back. Overall that piece got a lot of attention. Bill McBride of Calculated Risk even talked about it on one of his Bloomberg TV appearances! But I also think it is fair to say the work was also greeted with a healthy amount of skepticism at the time. Weren’t we destined to be a nation of renters forever?

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$800 million wine, beer, sin tax to slam small business

October 24, 2018 --

By Oregon Small Business Association,

The Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Health Authority are seeking to raise $830 million in new sin taxes next year by paying higher taxes for their cigarettes, beer, and wine.   The tax would be be massive hit to consumers pocketbook and would seriously hurt local grocers — hurting smaller family owned grocers worse than bigger grocery chains.   Oregon’s famous wine industry would also be hit.  Even worse, the colossal sin tax may not work as detailed in our 2018 report, Sin taxes hurt everyone but the user.

The OHA’s draft 2019-21 budget, a 2,050-page document reported by Willamette Week, shows that the state may increase sin taxes to cover the state’s rising Medicaid costs.

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Troutdale doctor charged for illegal Botox

October 23, 2018 --

US Attorney, Oregon district
Press Release,

Brenda Roberts, 54, of Troutdale, Oregon, was sentenced to six months’ probation and 40 hours of community service for illegally purchasing foreign-sourced Botox and Juvaderm on the internet and administering both to patients in her home.

“Purchasing foreign-sourced and unapproved drugs and devices on the internet poses a grave danger to the health and safety patients. Dr. Roberts violated her professional duty to ‘do no harm’ and instead subjected her patients to an incredible risk of injury,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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Oregon, Fed tax difference cause withholding problems

October 22, 2018 --

By Oregon Business & Industry

As part of a presentation to the House Revenue and Senate Finance Committees on September 25 and 26, during Legislative Days, Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) officials said that some employees could face surprises when filing their next tax returns because of changes in federal tax law. It’s an issue that employers should be aware of and help communicate to their employees.

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Record: Compensation costs soar with vacancies

October 19, 2018 --


A record net 37 percent of owners reported raising overall compensation in hopes of hiring and retaining employees in the tight labor market, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, released today. This surpasses the previous record of a net 35 percent in May 2018. The competition for qualified workers is pushing up compensation as there are more job openings than job seekers.

“There is extraordinary competition for workers in this historically tight labor market. Small business owners are investing more in their employees to attract and keep qualified workers,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “Thanks to the recent tax cuts and regulatory reform, owners are able and comfortable investing more in their employees and businesses which further strengthens the economy.”

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