January 31, 2014 - With Super Bowl comes fake Seahawk merchandise

By Oregon Better Business Bureau As the 12th Man prepares for the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl, cons are preparing to line their pockets with the sales of knockoff NFL memorabilia as well. Better Business Bureau reminds fans that counterfeit gear may be inexpensive, but the value and quality is often poor and purchases divert funds away from legitimate organizations. “This is going to be one of the most highly-anticipated games in Seattle this year,” says Tyler Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “But with every major sporting event there’s going to be scammers ready to capitalize on fans’ desires to snap up team jerseys and souvenirs.” According to the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing economic crimes and accounts for nearly six […]

January 30, 2014 - Labor board drops controversial posting rule

Ater Wynne LLP NW Law frim The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it will not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of two Court of Appeals decisions invalidating its controversial posting rule. The rule required most private sector employers to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act, including the right to: – Organize a union to negotiate with employers concerning wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment; – Form, join or assist a union; – Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract setting wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions; – Discuss terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with co-workers or a union; – Engage in protected concerted activities with one or more co-workers […]

January 29, 2014 - Business bills in the February Session

By Oregon Prosperity Project Lagging personal incomes for Oregonians and their families is the biggest issue facing our state. The 2014 Oregon Legislature can deliver on a handful of specific proposals to accelerate an economic recovery that is still leaving many Oregonians outside of the metro area behind. Oregon’s per capita income, even with the recovering economy, is still nearly 10% below the national average and 15% below the incomes of Washingtonians. If Oregon incomes were simply at the national average, each Oregonian would be earning $3,900 MORE per year. Manufacturing will be instrumental in bringing Oregon incomes back up to par.

January 28, 2014 - Income inequality in sports

Patrick Emerson PhD , OSU Economist Oregon Economics Blog The Harvard Sports Analysis Collective (yes, there is such a thing) has done an interesting little analysis of sports salaries and finds that the MLS is actually mid pack in terms of one measure of income inequality: the Gini coefficient. This is interesting in itself – the league with a tight salary cap and legions of low paid employees is actually more unequal than the NBA?  Can it be?  Well, the Gini in this case is a little deceiving.  Fortunately the HSAC has also plotted out the Lorenz curves for each league. What you see here is that the MLS curve is relatively flat and then has a huge upswing at the end.  Without getting into the details, this tells us […]

January 27, 2014 - 7 tax reforms Wyden would enact as Finance Chair

By Oregon Tax News Oregon Senator Ron Wyden is projected to become the next chairman of Senate Finance Committee. As chairman, Wyden will run one of the most powerful and influential Senate committees and play a significant role in shaping U.S. fiscal policy in the foreseeable future. Consequently, business interests and political experts are looking for clues as to how he may lead. If his recent legislative record is any indication, there is reason to believe that Wyden may do the following as Finance chair: 1. Cut corporate tax rates and end offshore loopholes. Wyden’s tax reform legislation would have cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 24 percent. It would have also eliminated loopholes allowing multinational U.S. companies to defer taxes on income earned abroad but incentivized […]

January 24, 2014 - The Supreme Court takes on property rights case

National Federation of Independent Business Supreme Court to Review Significant Property Rights Case Court’s ruling will impact landowners across the US The Supreme Court of the United States will headr oral arguments in Brandt v. United States. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center and the Owners Council of America previously filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in this property rights case. The brief argued that the government cannot establish a trail across private property without first paying the owner just compensation as required by the Takings Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and, further, the government cannot avoid that obligation by redefining previously recognized property rights. Executive Director of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center Karen Harned issued the following statement in advance of […]

January 23, 2014 - 5 Oregon workplace predictions for 2014

By Bullard Law, Portland law firm THE YEAR ENDS, THE YEAR BEGINS: 2013 WORKPLACE ISSUES THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE STORIES IN 2014 Although 2013 is now in the rearview mirror, the shadow it casts looms large before us. Here are five stories from 2013 (Affordable Care Act, Portland Sick Time Ordinance, EEOC overstepping its bounds, bereavement leave under OFLA, and legalized marijuana) that we predict will continue to be significant in 2014. Affordable Care Act: Law and Politics As we all know, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) has not been a story since June 28, 2012, right? On that date the United States Supreme Court rejected a Constitutional challenge to most of the ACA, which Congress had enacted in 2010 to make significant changes to how […]

January 22, 2014 - Rural lawmakers want NIKE-type tax deal

Rural Lawmakers Focus on Tax Deal for Small Businesses Oregon Small Business Association, In a December, 2012 special session, Oregon created a corporate tax structure for Nike, known as the single sales factor. The agreement could also benefit other large corporations, such as Intel. The structure guarantees that corporate taxes will be based for the next thirty years only on sales within Oregon as long as the business creates 500 jobs and invests $150 million in the state. In interviews with The Bend Bulletin, Roger Lee, executive director of Economic Development for Central Oregon said, “. . . if these larger companies are asking for some certainty, it might make sense small business would like certainty as well.” Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner), told the Bulletin, “One or two districts in […]

January 21, 2014 - 5 problems with State Treasurer’s college initiative

By Bob Clark, Guest writer Cascade Policy Institute The 2013 Oregon legislative session approved State Treasurer Ted Wheeler’s Oregon Opportunity Initiative for referral to voters, with a vote scheduled in November 2014. If passed by voters, this measure would have the State of Oregon issue General Obligation bonds, give all borrowed money to a newly created Student Opportunity Fund, and obligate State taxpayers to repay the bonds with interest. The Student Opportunity Fund would be invested primarily in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Theoretically, earnings from these financial investments would be used to provide college scholarships (assistance) to a select number of students who met certain qualifications. Here are five good reasons to oppose the Opportunity Initiative. Another critique of the Opportunity Initiative is “Mining Fool’s Gold” by Nigel Jaquiss […]

January 20, 2014 - Oregon’s age gap

By Josh Lehner Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog.. At the start of the year there was a potentially scary report by the Census Bureau and highlighted by The Oregonian. The headline says it all: “Kid heavy states? In the West, yes, but not Oregon.” Scary because we’re looking at a coming decade of slower economic growth, predominantly due to the aging Baby Boomers. The antidote for such an outlook is young, working age families, so seeing a report that shows Oregon is lagging behind, at least in one of these areas, is scary. However, it turns out to more a function of age structure than truly lagging behind. These first graphs below show population growth in recent decades by age. In the 1990s Oregon saw very strong population growth […]