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Top Oregon business headlines 2018

Four under-reported business victories in 2018

December 28, 2018 --


By NFIB,

These victories may not have generated headlines, but their impact on small business is important nonetheless.

NFIB members have celebrated a variety of important triumphs this year, including a delay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the U.S. rule, a dismissed court challenge to President Donald Trump’s two-for-one executive order on regulatory relief, and a rescission of the union persuader rule from the Department of Labor. These successes have helped fuel 45-year highs in small business optimism and plans for job creation.

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Guilty plea in stealing funds, destroying union records

December 27, 2018 --


By U.S. Attorney, Oregon District

John Jason Burgess, 43, of Hillsboro, Oregon, pleaded guilty to one count of concealing or destroying labor union records.

According to court documents, between 2008 and 2016, Burgess served as the president of Local 304, an independent labor union representing approximately 140 employees of Pacific Stainless Products (PSP), a manufacturer of stainless steel equipment headquartered in St. Helens, Oregon. Local 304 represents its members in negotiating with PSP on employment issues and, under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), is required to file an annual financial report with the Secretary of Labor. Members fund the union entirely through biweekly dues of $12.50 withheld from their paychecks.

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Lawmakers roll out 14 new business taxes

December 26, 2018 --


By Oregon Small Business Association,

The Oregon Legislature just released a batch of over 50 tax related bills it will consider in the 2019 session. Here are some of the Oregon tax proposals that will hit business the hardest.

1. Business property taxes: HJR 3, HJR 4, and HB 2167 tax business property at real market value (RMV). This would raise property taxes on businesses by 50-60 percent. This would be a small business killer, especially for retailers, restaurants, and taverns.

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Measuring Oregon wealth

December 24, 2018 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Economists have tons of data and research on current incomes. However we have considerably less on wealth. In fact we have next to nothing at the regional or local level. Given the increased concentration of wealth in recent decades, and the aging of the large Baby Boomer generation, wealth is becoming a larger component of our community, economy, and potentially our tax revenues.

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AG forces local car dealer to issue 4000 refunds

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By Oregon Attorney General’s Office,

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today announced a $120,000 settlement with car dealership Courtesy Ford, and warned other car dealers that violating the state’s advertising rules could result in stiff penalties. The settlement includes $55,000 in restitution to Oregonians who unknowingly purchased a “Data Dots” theft deterrent service that they may have thought was required by the government.

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Congress, fix tax cut error before going home

December 20, 2018 --


National Retail Federation Press Release,

The National Retail Federation and more than 250 retail, restaurant and other companies from across the country are urging Congress to fix a mistake in last year’s tax reform law as part of end-of-year legislation, saying the error has put millions of dollars in job-creating remodeling projects on hold.

“The delay in correcting this provision has caused economic hardship for numerous businesses, including retailers, restaurants, real estate and construction industries, as well as the manufacturers that supply products to the building trade,” the businesses said in a letter to members of the House and Senate. “The delay in investments has had ripple effects across the economy that impact the communities in which these companies are doing business.”

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Should we rethink single family housing?

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By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

As policymakers, builders, and the market work to solve the housing supply issues, a key question everybody asks is what type of housing do we need? Aren’t millennials always going to be renters? [No] Should we grow up, or out? Our office’s simple answer is yes. To accommodate recent and expected growth we will need to see housing supply pick up across the spectrum. This includes both an increase in the effective (buildable) land supply and redevelopment opportunities on lands within our existing communities. This is especially true for areas with good access to employment centers, stores, restaurants, transit and the like.

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WA paid family leave starts. Oregon next?

December 19, 2018 --


Employers Prepare: Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave Premiums Start January 1st!
By Nicole Elgin & Kyle Abraham
By Barran Liebman LLP
Oregon law firm

On January 1, 2019, Washington will become the fifth state in the country with Paid Family and Medical Leave. This new program will allow employees to receive a portion of their wages when they are on protected leaves of absence.

The law requires employers with Washington employees to start collecting premiums and reporting hours on January 1, 2019. The program will be funded by premiums collected on 0.4% of gross wages. The premiums are shared between employers, responsible for 37% of the total premium, and employees, responsible for the remaining 63%. Employers are required to withhold the employee-portion from the employees’ paychecks, and pay the total premiums to the Employment Security Department (ESD). Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer-portion of the premiums, but will still be required to collect, record, and remit the employees’ premiums to the state. Employers are also required to report employee hours and wages to ESD.

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Rep. Schrader: Bill closes $1B drug rebate loophole

December 18, 2018 --


US Representative Kurt Schrader,
Oregon US Congress,

Legislation introduced by Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) and Congressman Peter Welch (VT-At Large) to close a loophole in the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program that is reported to have cost the Medicaid program as much as $1 billion passed in the House this week as part of the IMPROVE Act. Reps. Schrader and Welch introduced the Medicaid Drug Rebate Accountability Act earlier this year following the release of an Inspector General report, and followed up by introducing the House version of the Right Rebate Act last week.

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