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HB 2830, Business Sales Tax, unfair to small businesses

By Oregon Small Business Association,

The Oregon Small Business Association opposes HB 2830 and the business sales tax otherwise known as the gross receipts sales tax.

Taxing business sales instead of taxing profits means you are taxing businesses when they are not making a profit. It also means you are taxing small businesses during deep recessions when they can least afford it. This also makes Oregon businesses less competitive during recessions against neighbor states that do not crush small businesses with sales taxes. Read more »

Walden advances 11 energy bills

Gregg Walden Press Release,

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), today moved forward eleven bills to advance the nation’s energy infrastructure and improve energy efficiency. This comes as Walden continues his efforts to streamline the regulatory process and expand hydropower in Oregon. Read more »

Bill gives much needed help on business personal property tax

By Oregon Small Business Association,

There is an important bill, Senate Bill 596 sponsored by State Senator Tim Knopp, which is up for a hearing today in the Senate Finance and Revenue. Read more »

Two types of business taxes considered

Joint Committee Meets On Business Tax Reform Quest
Guest Opinion
May 2, 2017

A Joint Committee of the Oregon Legislature met today to continue efforts to reform Oregon’s business tax system. Sen. Mark Hass (D-Portland) and Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene) serve as co-Chairs for the Joint Committee on Tax Reform. Increasing business taxes has been a focus for Hass for several years, and previously resulted in Measure 97 – which would have created a Gross Receipts Tax on business, but was handily defeated by Oregon voters last year.

Oregon currently charges a business income tax which some Legislators believe is too vulnerable to economic downturns and too volatile even during good economic conditions. A replacement for Measure 97 – i.e. a Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) that taxes all of the income a business earns at a low rate whether the business is profitable of not – is one of the main options available. The other would be a “Corporate Activity Tax” (CAT) which would be similar to a system adopted by Ohio in 2006. It would also seek to charge a low rate, but only on Oregon sales. It would apply to any Company that sells products in Oregon, even if it located elsewhere. Read more »

HB 2006: Homeowners fret over losing mortgage deduction

By Oregon Small Business Association,

A typical monthly mortgage payment consists of two parts: a repayment on a part of the principle borrowed, and an additional amount based on the interest rate the mortgager charges for the loan. These two items (“principal and interest” or P&I) are added together into one payment for the property owner. Mortgage payments are typically spread out over longer terms – a 30-year mortgage being the standard, but shorter periods also being available. Early mortgage payments consist heavily of interest with small amounts of principle repayment and later ones are heavy principle repayments and smaller amounts of interest. The total owing on the mortgage each month is reduced by the amount of the principle payment. Read more »

Oregon top consumer complaints

According to the Oregon Attorney General Office list of incoming calls of complaints, the number one complaint (repeating last year’s number one ranking) is imposter scam calls.  These calls make up more complaints than the remaining 9 other categories.

See the list below for yourself.

1. Imposter Scam Calls (5,049 complaints)
2. Telecommunications (941 complaints)
3. Motor Vehicle Sales (572 complaints)
4. Financial Services (358 complaints)
5. Health Related (300 complaints)
6. Collection Agencies (232 complaints)
7. International Money Transfer Schemes (226 complaints)
8. Auto Repair (203 complaints)
9. Home Ownership Issues (192 complaints)
10. Construction Contractors (164 complaints)

Legislators eye S-Corp and C-Corp Tax Bills

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Two important business tax bills up today in a House hearing.

House Bill 2831 increases to $1,000 the minimum tax paid by S corporations with more than $25 million in Oregon sales. The tax increase would affect less than one-half of one percent of Oregon S corporations and would raise less than $500,000 a year in new revenue.

HB 2831 is likely a Trojan horse for a future hike on most—or all—Oregon S corporations. Read more »

SB 165 steals small business tax savings

OSBA Works Against Small Business Tax Increase
By Oregon Small Business Association,

Oregon Small Business Association President T.J. Riley appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue  to testify against SB 165. This bill would force small businesses across Oregon to add at least one full-time equivalent employee (FTE) in order to qualify for a tax break originally granted by the Legislature in 2013.

Under current law small businesses can reduce the tax rate applied to part of it’s tax liability. SB 165 would require that a business add an employee and have no reduction in average wages in any year in which it wants to claim the reduced tax rate. As pointed out in the hearing, this is not practical for a variety of reasons and if passed, SB 165 would likely dramatically reduce the number of small businesses that could qualify for the reduced rate. Read more »

Portland band trademark case before Supreme Court

Wall Street Journal Editorial,
Jan 18, 2017

If you start a rock band and give it a shocking name, can the government prevent you from trademarking it? That’s the question for the Supreme Court Wednesday as the Justices decide if the feds can discriminate against trademark applications based on the viewpoint of the speech.

Simon Tam formed an Asian-American rock band that calls itself “The Slants,” appropriating an ethnic slur as a statement against discrimination. That strategy has a long history. But when the Portland-based band applied for a trademark in 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the application on grounds that the name disparages Asians (Lee v. Tam). Read more »

The pitfalls of employee rewards

By Dr. Eric Fruits,
Oregon Economist
On Demand Newsletter

Employee of the Month. Sounds like a great idea. For the price of a cheap plaque and a good parking spot, bosses can motivate employees to deliver superior service. So the thinking goes.

Academics call it “status competition.” And sometimes it backfires.

Wells Fargo has been accused of opening millions of fake bank accounts. Employee compensation was tied to opening new accounts and workers could lose their jobs if they didn’t meet targets. They also had status competitions. Read more »