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Man charged with extortion over Portland Mayor

January 21, 2019 --


US Attorney, Oregon District
Press Release Statement.

A one-count indictment was unsealed in federal court today charging Kermit Tyler Poulson, 39, with transmitting threatening communications with the intent to extort Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

“Using social media to extort or threaten violence against any citizen is a crime. This conduct is unacceptable in any context and has no respectable place in public discourse. Threats of violence, both in person and on social media, are taken very seriously by federal law enforcement,” said Billy J. Williams, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

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2019 Annual Tax Limits

January 18, 2019 --


Ferguson Wellman
Oregon based Capitol Management Firm

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the annual inflation adjustments for a number of tax provisions for 2019. These went into effect January 1, 2019 and are not intended to be used for 2018 tax returns.

We fully recognize that most of our clients are currently preparing their 2018 taxes and we encourage you to revisit some of the major changes associated with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will impact 2018 tax planning.

Enclosed you will find the 2019 Annual Limits Guide from the College for Financial Planning®, which is a reference for a variety of tax and wealth planning figures. We manage assets for a broad range of clients who are at different stages of their lives, so we recognize that some of the information may not be pertinent to you.

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How migration changes Oregon

January 17, 2019 --


Josh Lehner,
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

A couple years ago we examined Oregon’s diversity and the fact that Oregon’s foreign-born population is fairly similar to, albeit smaller than the U.S. as a whole. Now, Oregon does have a somewhat larger Mexican-born population, but many such residents moved to the U.S. during 1980s, 1990s and through the housing bubble. Few have migrated in the past decade or so for a couple of main reasons. First, due to the housing collapse and Great Recession, there were scarce job opportunities here and Mexico’s economy has done well. Second, the falling birth rate in Mexico over the past couple of generations means there are relatively fewer potential migrants than in the past. Now, a lot of pixels have been written in recent years about the big shift the U.S. has seen among international migrants. No longer do most come from Mexico or Central America. Now most come from Asia. Here in Oregon we see similar trends.

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Lawmakers eye taxing tourists as gold mine

January 16, 2019 --


By Oregon Small Business Association,

Many of the new taxes unveiled this month involve taxing tourists. This is important because Oregon just doubled the hotel and lodging tax back in 2016 and now lawmakers are eyeing the tourists that visit those hotels.

Senate Bill 28 would tax tourists in many ways from what they buy to where they stay.  SB 28 would more than double the license to operate a public swimming pool or spa. SB 28 allows a hike in what recreation parks can charge. It allows increases in bed and breakfast facility fees, vending machine license fees and certain restaurant fees.

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Ex-Blazer meets Shark Tank start-up

January 15, 2019 --


By Oregon Small Business Association,

A Portland Trail Blazers guard became the latest professional athlete to invest in a sports startup when Evan Turner committed money to help ISlide in the manufacturing and sale of customized slide sandals.

ISlide, a company formed in 2013 by former Reebok Basketball head Justin Kittredge, was featured in the season eight premiere of “Shark Tank” on ABC, according to an article on BostInno, a Boston-area online news site, which was republished in the Portland Business Journal. Kittredge declined a deal offered by one of the hit show’s regulars, investor Robert Herjavec.

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Study: Anti-sprawl laws big role in unaffordable housing

January 14, 2019 --


By Cascade Policy Institute,

So-called smart growth policies are advocated as a means of avoiding sprawl. These policies have at their heart a policy of reducing the availability of land for housing in urban areas. In Oregon and some other states, anti-sprawl policy is implemented by regulations that impose urban growth boundaries (UGBs). Other regulations impose minimum density policies and others reduce spending on highways and increase spending on transit service—especially light rail—as an alternative. Advocates of anti-sprawl policies argue that such regulations would allow urban growth to proceed at a lower overall cost.

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DeFazio bill to save Coast Guard from shutdown

January 11, 2019 --


US Congressman, Oregon, Peter DeFazio

Shutdown impacts over 41,000 active duty Coast Guard members performing missions and protecting the coastal borders

Oregon lawmakers applauded legislation introduced by Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) that would provide funding for the Coast Guard and ensure that active duty and reserve members of the Coast Guard are paid during the government shutdown. Members of the Coast Guard are the only members of the United States military not being paid for their critical and continuing operations.

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Shutdown hits 9,600 Oregon Federal workers

January 10, 2019 --


By Oregon Employment Department,

Roughly 9,600 jobs in Oregon are at federal agencies that are not currently funded and are affected by the partial federal government shutdown.

Some of these workers have already been furloughed. Others have funding to cover operations for a few more days. Excepted personnel are still working even though funding for their paychecks has not been appropriated. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, this includes employees who are performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, or performing certain other types of excepted work.

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Shutdown halts E-verify. Now what?

January 9, 2019 --


By Wilson Jarrell,
By Barran Liebman LLP
Oregon law firm

As you are undoubtedly aware, we are currently in the midst of a partial federal government shut down, effecting approximately a quarter of government functions. Amongst these is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) E-Verify Program, which ran out of funding and congressional authorization on December 22, 2018.

E-Verify is a program that allows employers to compare information from an employee’s Form I-9 to DHS and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Employers who enroll in the program via a website are required to run checks on new workers within three days of hire.

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Restaurant caught in forced labor scheme

January 8, 2019 --


By Oregon US Attorney,

Oregon Restaurant Owner Sentenced to Prison in Connection with Immigration-Related Forced Labor Scheme. Defendant used debts, fraud, threats of financial and reputational harm, and other means to compel victims to work long hours for minimal pay at restaurants in Oregon and Washington

Paul Jumroon, also known as Veraphon Phatanakitjumroon, 55, formerly of Beaverton and Depoe Bay, Oregon, and a naturalized citizen originally from Thailand, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $131,000 in restitution to four victims and more than $120,000 to the IRS in taxes due. The defendant previously pleaded guilty to forced labor, visa fraud conspiracy, and filing false tax returns. The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams of the District of Oregon, Acting Special Agent in Charge Steve Palmer of the FBI’s Portland Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Troy Burrus of IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office.

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