March 30, 2018 - IRS audits at 15 year low

IRS audits at 15 year low. By Taxpayer Foundation of Oregon, For the sixth straight year IRS tax audits have been declining and have set a new 15 low in 2017 according to the Wall Street Journal. The year, 2010 was their peak, and since then they have lost a third of their enforcement staff. As the above chart shows, the higher income have seen the biggest decline in percentage of returns audited.

March 29, 2018 - Remember FCC Hoax rule for April Fool’s Day

By David Oxenford Esq. Broadcast Law With April Fools’ Day falling on a Sunday this year, perhaps the potential for on-air pranks is lessened. But, then again, who knows what weekend talent may be planning? So, as we do every year about is time, we need to play our role as attorneys and ruin the fun by repeating our reminder that broadcasters need to be careful with any on-air pranks, jokes or other bits prepared especially for the day. While a little fun is OK, remember that the FCC does have a rule against on-air hoaxes. While issues under this rule can arise at any time, broadcaster’s temptation to go over the line is probably highest on April 1. The FCC’s rule against broadcast hoaxes, Section 73.1217, prevents stations from […]

March 28, 2018 - Legislature: What business, tax issues passed

By Oregon Business & Industry, Revenue Forecast Shows $99 million increase in available revenue. The February 16 revenue forecast came in better than expected, allowing Legislators to breathe a sigh of relief. There would be no imminent budget threat to solve during the Short Session. Projected 2017-19 net General Fund resources were up $69.8 million and projected 2017-19 Lottery resources were up $29.3 million – a combined net revenue increase of $99.1 million. The Legislature made an extra $93 million in General Fund expenditures in 2018 based on the strength of the forecast.

March 27, 2018 - Oregon job sectors outperform other states

By Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January and February. For 14 consecutive months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been close to 4.1 percent, its lowest level since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 4.1 percent in both January and February. In February, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment grew by 2,700 jobs, following a revised gain of 4,900 jobs in January. Three major industries each added 1,000 jobs or more: retail trade (+1,800 jobs), construction (+1,000), and health care and social assistance (+1,000). These gains were partially offset by losses of 1,100 jobs in private educational services, 900 in professional and business services, and 700 in manufacturing.

March 26, 2018 - NIKE debuts ‘Respect Hotline’ after top firings

By Oregon Small Business Association The top executive at Nike Inc. has offered company employees use of a “Matter of Respect” hotline and an email address to report inappropriate conduct in the wake of misconduct complaints. In an internal memo, CEO and Chairman Mark Parker said the company has received reports in recent weeks of “behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment,” according to a March 15th article in the Portland Business Journal.

March 23, 2018 - Europe: 3% Tax on Amazon, Google, Facebook

By Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, One difference between President Trump and the European Union is that Mr. Trump makes mistakes on his own and off the cuff, while Brussels makes mistakes by committee after careful study. So while European mandarins are kvetching about the trade war Mr. Trump risks starting with metals tariffs, Europe is now launching its own economic war with a proposal to tax U.S. tech firms. Not that European leaders will admit the tech-tax plan they unveiled Wednesday is protectionism. The European Commission, the EU’s bureaucratic wing, is plugging for a 3% tax on revenues—no matter the profits—that large tech firms earn from sales in Europe. The companies would pay the tax to each country in which a sale occurs, rather than in the countries where […]

March 22, 2018 - Firms try unlimited Personal Time Off

By Cascade Employers Association Paid time off is one of the most important ‘checklist items’ when looking for a job. One of the first questions people will ask their friends when they start a new job is, “How much PTO do you get each year?”  There are many reasons why people care so much about paid time off, but the biggest reason is for better work-life balance. Having a rich PTO benefit can decrease the stress people feel when they need to use it for things they aren’t really thrilled about. For example, you need to take your dog to the vet, but they are only open during typical business hours, 8-5, just like your work. What do you do? Well, you have to dig into your PTO bucket and […]

March 21, 2018 - Chart: Oregon’s big millennial surge

By Josh Lehner Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Pew announced they were changing their generational definitions to distinguish between where Millennials end and Post-Millennials begin, that name is still a work in progress. Specifically, Pew now defines Millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996, which makes them the same size, at least in terms of the number of years, as Gen X (1965-1980). Previously the definition for Millennials varied but was generally early 1980s through late 1990s. Our office had used 1981-2000. In their work, Pew highlights some of the defining features or life experiences for Millennials, including 9/11, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the 2008 election, and coming of age during the Great Recession and its lasting scars on housing, employment, and the like. Post-Millennials on the other […]

March 20, 2018 - Wyden hits Facebook with 6 privacy questions

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Press Release, Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Facebook to detail the extent of misuse of its users’ private information, in a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent today. His letter follows reporting by the New York Times and Facebook’s own admission that about 50 million users’ data was downloaded and subsequently used by Cambridge Analytica, a political advertising firm, without the affirmative knowledge or consent of those users.

March 19, 2018 - Soda tax petition pulled

Oregon Prosperity Project, The Coalition for Healthy Kids and Education, a PAC organized to support a tax of 1.5 cents to each ounce of soda in Multnomah County announced in February the coalition would not put the tax on the November ballot. This delay follows an announcement in November of 2017 to postpone the original initiative to November of 2018. Several California and East Coast cities, and recently Seattle have imposed the drink taxes, but traction has slowed. The tax efforts have been fueled by a campaign funded in part by billionaire ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Billionaire John Arnold through advocacy organization, Action Now Initiative has also joined in the Oregon effort. Bloomberg and Arnold put close to $900,000 in the coalition in 2017 to cover costs of […]