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Mayor Ted Wheeler Proposes $15.3 Million Tax Hike on Portland Businesses, Will Add 58 Police Officers

Willamette Week

The business license tax, which is 2.2 percent of a business’ net income, is the second largest source of money for the city’s general fund, after property taxes. In the 2016-17 budget, the tax brought in $118 million.

 

Wheeler proposes budget with boosts in taxes, cops

Portland Tribune

Wheeler’s budget requires a majority vote of the Portland City Council, which will hear public testimony on Wheeler’s proposals — as will a city budget committee. Individual City Commissioners will be able to propose changes as well.

 

5 Things To Know About Portland Mayor Wheeler’s Proposed Budget

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“The economy is clearly slowing, and we all know that economies work in cycles. What goes up comes down,” he said. “We are highly exposed to a recession at this point, all things being equal.”

 

Death penalty won’t be sought in Florida airport shooting

The Associated Press

After the shooting, the FBI says Santiago told agents in a confession that he acted under government mind control, then claimed inspiration by Islamic State extremists. No terrorism links have been found.

 

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

As Tax Cut Estimates Shift, Oregon Legislators Consider New Bills For Special Session

Oregon Public Broadcasting

As legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle preach the need for a session narrowly focused on tax cuts for a small subset of businesses, there are signs other lawmakers have different ideas.

 

Kate Brown’s tax plan would mostly benefit higher income earners

Oregonian/OregonLive

Under the tax break, people with pass-through businesses pay just 7 percent tax on income under $250,000, a rate otherwise reserved for joint filers with income up to $17,400. The Legislature created that tax break in 2013 during a special session aimed at trimming public pension costs and raising taxes.

 

Governor signs bill for Eastern Oregon field house

The Associated Press

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill in La Grande that allocates $9 million for a new field house at Eastern Oregon University.

 

NATIONAL GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

US May Day immigration protests target Trump, fall elections

The Associated Press

“Elections have consequences, and the consequences for our community have been dire, and if we do not change the balance of power, we question our ability to remain free in this country,” she said.

 

HOUSING

 

Rent Declined in 2017 in Portland’s Newly Constructed Buildings

Willamette Week

The rental situation varied for different sized units. The cost of the average studios citywide declined, while one-bedrooms saw small increases. But rents for two bedrooms increased on average by 5 percent, and rents for three bedrooms increased 10 percent.

 

Is size allowance for ‘missing middle’ houses too small?

Portland Tribune

“One of the key findings of Johnson’s dive into the market data was that a square foot of home is, basically, a square foot of home. Just giving a landowner the right to turn a structure into two smaller homes instead of one big one doesn’t add total value,” said Andersen

 

ELECTIONS

 

Oregon GOP teeters on dividing its base with too many candidates

Statesman Journal

“My wife and I talked, and we acknowledged that my numbers were not up there where they should be to win,” former candidate Bruce Cuff said. “So I picked the one candidate I think can win the primary and endorsed him.”

 

Capitol roundup: Initiative moves forward while candidates hit campaign trail

The Bend Bulletin

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed a draft ballot title for Initiative Petition 43, a proposed gun control initiative seeking to qualify for the November general election ballot.

 

EDUCATION

 

Merkley talks education at LBCC town hall

Albany Democrat-Herald

“I’m against us having a defense budget that’s so expensive that we’re underfunding everything else,” Merkley said. The United States needs to move beyond policing the world and provide more funding for education, healthcare and infrastructure, Merkley said.

 

Lawsuit by Northwest Christian University instructor alleges racial discrimination

The Register-Guard

The plaintiff, Johnny Lake, alleges in the lawsuit that he lost his assistant instructor job after facing race-related discrimination at NCU. The suit describes the private, Christian university as a predominantly white institution with a reputation for being “unwelcoming” to students of color, female students, nonheterosexual students and students with disabilities.

 

The answer to Oregon’s dismal graduation rates? Start school later, doctors say

KGW

“Not only are students’ grades improving when you make school later, but you’re also showing they’re happier, they’re more productive,” he said. “It’s shown when you get more sleep, you tend to be a healthier person.”

 

District won’t allow students to read book on trans kid

The Associated Press

An Oregon school district has elected not to allow its third- through fifth-graders to participate in a statewide reading program after finding the content of one of the books inappropriate.

 

Students at Grant High School Posted a List of “Sexual Predators in the Hallways” in Girls’ Bathrooms Last Week

Willamette Week

“These signs were also photographed and then distributed via social media posts. As an administrative team, we work to ensure all students feel safe at Grant High School. These signs—singling out members of our community—make many students, not just those listed, feel unsafe at school.”

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Reward in case of arrow-injured deer quadruples

Mail Tribune

According to photos provided by OSP, one animal had been shot through in an area of its body between the shoulder and the neck, while the other had been shot through the face near its eye, neither a spot a hunter would target if he intended to kill the animal quickly.

 

SAFETY

 

Dozens with ties to supremacist gangs arrested in Texas

The Associated Press

Federal authorities say dozens of people associated with white-supremacist gangs in Texas have been indicted on drug trafficking charges, including four accused in a kidnapping in which a hatchet was used to chop off a victim’s finger.

 

US Border agency tests body cams on agents in 9 locations

The Associated Press

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is starting tests of body-worn cameras for employees at nine locations, potentially leading to a broad rollout that would make it the first federal law enforcement agency to use them on a large scale.

 

BUSINESS

 

Portland Uber and Lyft Drivers Plan Rally At City Hall To Demand Better Working Conditions

Willamette Week

It’s the latest volley in a longstanding war between the Oregon AFL-CIO and the ride-hailing giants who invaded Portland in 2014 in a major blow to the taxi industry. The AFL-CIO slowed Uber’s entry into Portland for more than a year—before the company steamrolled labor and regulators by operating without permits.

 

With judge’s ruling, Portland climate-related tax moves closer to ballot

Oregonian/OregonLive

If the petition makes the ballot and is adopted by Portland voters, it would charge businesses with at least $1 billion in total sales and $500,000 in Portland sales a 1 percent surcharge.

 

OPINION

 

More pressing issues for Oregon

East Oregonian

That tax break might be worthwhile, although the details have been sketchy. But we wonder why Brown can’t let the tax break wait for the 2019 Legislature, yet she is leaving a slew of more-important issues hanging.

 

Letter: Why I want to serve Oregon’s 2nd District

East Oregonian

I’m running for Congress because government should make people’s lives better, not harder.

 

Nominee for GOP seat in 5th District challenged for his statements about Schrader

Statesman Journal

Nation’s ignorance and inexperience are made clear by his use of slander and grandiose promises that he can neither explain nor fulfill.

 

Cepeda: Don’t judge Latinos who patrol the border until you walk in their shoes

Statesman Journal

Ever since President Donald Trump announced he wants to hire 5,000 more border patrol agents, Latinos interested in joining the agency have flocked to citizens academies sponsored by CBP, The Los Angeles Times reported last week.

 

Tax cuts were supposed to save the GOP from Trump. Oops.

The Register-Guard

Just 27 percent of Americans believe the GOP tax overhaul was a good idea, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Even among Republican voters, the tax cuts are not exactly thunderously popular: A little more than half (56 percent) say they were a good idea.

 

White best choice against Walden

Herald and News

If we were to ask Greg Walden which Democratic candidate is he most concerned about winning the primary, we are betting he would say Tim White. Why? Because Tim White is committed to fighting for our district.

 

Walden 100 percent for Trump agenda

Herald and News

Again, 2018, finds District 2 needing a candidate who understands campaign finance reform is at the heart of breaking the power of corporations and the ultra-wealthy to buy candidates, the power to write favorable legislation, and the power to pass its legislation.

 

Congress must reclaim its authority over acts of war taken by a president

Herald and News

It is time for Congress to act. We should take back the unlimited authority the president believes he has. We should act in a bipartisan manner to define what military action the president can and can’t take against terrorist groups.

 

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