Following yesterday’s adjournment of the Oregon State Legislature of its tumultuous 2023 session, the state director for Oregon’s leading small-business association today praised a couple of accomplishments to emerge from it that came as a comfort to the state’s struggling Main Street enterprises.
“Given the recent history of the Oregon State Legislature, small businesses were braced for the worst when the 2023 session commenced in January,” said Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “When it adjourned yesterday, small businesses could not only breathe a sigh of relief but also take some surprising comfort that lawmakers managed to pass a couple of measures beneficial for Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises—although not without a lot of work and worry.”
NFIB lobbied for passage of two important tax bills – HB 2083, which extends Oregon’s state and local tax (SALT) cap workaround program through the end of 2025 (when the federal limitation on the SALT deduction expires), and SB 498, which creates a $15 million estate tax exemption for business owners engaged in farming, fishing, and forestry.
“For the thousands of small businesses impacted by these policies, this means major tax savings,” said Smith. “The best part is we were able to get these bills across the finish line without any offsetting tax increases – no easy feat in the Oregon Legislature!”
On the downside, according to Smith, SB 1089, the Universal Health Care Governance Board bill is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Tina Kotek. “At best, this bill will cost taxpayers about $2 million over the next biennium to find out that a government-run, single payer healthcare system isn’t a viable option for one state to try on its own. At worst, it sets us up for a future legislative session where we’ll have to fight against the largest tax increase in Oregon history (by far!) to pay for it,” said Smith.
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