Daily Clips

TOP STORIES

 

State librarian fired, but specifics remain elusive

Portland Tribune

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown fired state librarian MaryKay Dahlgreen on Tuesday, an apparent surprise to the state’s association of library professionals, the chair of the state library board and Dahlgreen herself.  While the Governor’s Office says Dahlgreen failed to meet lawmakers’ expectations, it did not provide specifics to the EO/Pamplin Capital Bureau. Dahlgreen says the governor did not provide her with specific written feedback on her performance, either.

 

Kate Brown ousts respected Oregon state librarian

The Oregonian

Malkin was surprised to receive a call from the governor’s office that informed her of the decision to remove Dahlgreen. Malkin expected that the board would have input, the chance to advocate for Dahlgreen or at least a heads up on a major decision like that. “People talk a lot about transparency in government, and I think when you make major decisions like this, that it’s good to do this in an open forum where people have a chance to bring forward information and maybe educate people about the role that person has played in the organization and how she has performed her job duties,” Malkin said.

 

Republicans sound the alarm after likely loss in Pennsylvania

POLITICO

Republicans on Wednesday struggled to explain their likely loss in the Pennsylvania special election: GOP leaders warned lawmakers that the outcome in the pro-Trump district could spell disaster in the midterms if they don’t respond forcefully, but many lawmakers dismissed the race as an anomaly and seemed to be in denial. During a closed-door conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club, House Republican leaders said that Tuesday’s special election, where Democrat Conor Lamb is narrowly leading, could portend a monster Democratic year. They told rank-and-file members in no uncertain terms that they needed to get their campaigns in order or that they could be casualties, and they need to raise money now to protect themselves come November.

 

Densmore drops out of House race

Mail Tribune

Former Medford Councilor Al Densmore has ended his bid for the Oregon House seat now held by Sal Esquivel, citing an uphill battle against a number of opponents. “It doesn’t appear that it’s time yet for that kind of an effort to be successful” Densmore said. “It was one thing when there was just one other candidate.” The 71-year-old Medford resident chose a difficult route to win the seat, filing as an Independent write-in candidate. He also said the chance for making his case as an Independent Party candidate would have been particularly difficult in Salem, where politics are divided sharply along party lines.

 

EDUCATION

 

Portland Public Schools ousting of special education program has left families feeling unheard

The Oregonian

Portland mom Danielle Pacifico-Cogan has called school district officials. She’s filed public records requests. She’s gone to school board meetings. She’s done all of this because she is fearful for her fourth grader and his classmates. Her son attends Pioneer, a school for students with significant disabilities. Students who go there don’t get to learn alongside peers without disabilities, but they do get highly customized services from educators with specialized skills, and she’s found it works best for her child. In November, the district decided to oust Pioneer from its building so that a larger program for gifted students can have the space. District leaders have implied Pioneer’s educational offerings are sub-par as justification for the move, but they haven’t stated outright what they feel is wrong.

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

 

Idaho boy’s cyanide exposure forever links family, Eugene advocate over wildlife devices

The Oregonian

But by the end of 2017, DeFazio had attracted 15 co-sponsors, with the lone Republican being Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. And on the state level, the family watched as small successes seemed to take hold. The federal wildlife services agency “ceased all use of M-44 devices” on private and public land in Idaho and removed all devices deployed there. M-44s will not be used in Idaho this year,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. Six rural Oregon counties ceased using M-44s after the wolf death and a subsequent effort in the Legislature to strip state funding for the controversial management tool.

 

HOUSING

 

Portland weighs reviving tax breaks for affordable apartments

The Oregonian

Portland housing officials have proposed reviving a property tax break for developers who include affordable housing in their projects. It’s an effort to squeeze units with restricted rents from a landslide of development proposals that came in before the city started requiring such units in all large developments. That inclusionary zoning policy took effect last year, but a pipeline of about 10,000 apartments proposed ahead of the mandate aren’t subject to it. The incentive officials are seeking to bring back provides for a 10-year property tax exemption on all of a development’s residential units in exchange for making 20 percent of the units affordable to households making 60 or 80 percent of the median family income. The developers still pay taxes on the land and any commercial space in the building.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

TriMet releases ambitious proposed budget

Portland Tribune

Highlights of the $701 million budget include a low-income far program, the purchase of 64 new buses, the first electrified bus line, and safety, service and station improvements.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Offshore earthquake will devastate Portland area much more than scientists thought

Portland Tribune

State geologists analyze projected impacts of Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake, magnitude 9.0, and expect tens of thousands of casualties in the tri-county area, and massive numbers needing emergency shelter after being forced from their homes.

 

GUNS

 

A Portland Church Group Plans to Ask Voters to Ban Assault Weapons in Oregon

Willamette Week

A Portland group of religious organizers is pushing to get an initiative to ban AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles in Oregon on the November ballot. The Interfaith and People of Goodwill Campaign to Ban Assault Weapons will officially launch tomorrow, and hopes to put the question to Oregon voters of whether people should be able to buy some semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. The campaign will launch tomorrow night at Augustana Lutheran Church, where Rev. W. J. Mark Knutson has been pressing for such a ban for nearly two years.

 

NATIONAL POLITICS

 

President Donald Trump Seeking to Appoint Portland Hotelier Gordon Sondland Ambassador to European Union

Willamette Week

President Donald Trump reportedly wants Portland hotelier Gordon Sondland to be the next ambassador to the European Union. The news, reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes on the heels of an Oregonian report last fall that Sondland was being vetted for a potential ambassadorship. Sondland leads Provenance Hotels which owns or manages 10 hotels, including the Heathman, Sentinel, Lucia and deLuxe in Portland.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Community colleges get short shrift

Albany Democrat-Herald

A priority for the community colleges during the short legislative session that wrapped up earlier this month was to figure out a way to get that money back. Anyone familiar with how the state has funded its community colleges over the years probably can guess how the story ended. No money. Sorry. Legislative leaders said, in essence, that nobody was getting any extra money. (That’s not precisely true, but legislators decided, for better or for worse, that the needs facing other programs were more urgent than fixing this budgeting mistake for community colleges.)

 

Editorial: EOU a rural rescue

East Oregonian

The designation through HB 4153 is more than symbolism. It is a recognition that EOU has achieved a remarkable niche in higher education. EOU combines a sense of place — the La Grande-based university operates 11 centers throughout rural Oregon — with a well-regarded distance learning program that enrolls students from throughout Oregon, and beyond.

 

Editorial: Taking responsibility

Register-Guard

It’s hard to see how Kruse could read this report and maintain that he has done nothing wrong. He has done his fellow Oregonians a favor by resigning. He would do them an even bigger favor by facing up to what he has done, realizing that he is in the wrong, and issuing a heartfelt apology.

 

It’s past time to eliminate the annual time changes

Statesman Journal Editorial Board

Did anyone enjoy losing an hour’s sleep over the weekend when Oregon joined most other states and left standardized time behind to observe the start of daylight saving time? We didn’t think so. We’ve heard a great deal of grumbling, which is why we support Sen. Kim Thatcher’s effort to end the time change in Oregon. Thatcher, who introduced a bill in the 2015 session, has announced she’ll renew the effort next session.  If the grousing is any indication, Oregonians would like to quit reverting to standard time the first weekend in November and keep the extra hour of evening daylight that daylight saving time affords.

 

Editorial: Bend schools’ selective love of data

Bend Bulletin

When the Bend-La Pine Schools wanted to figure out if it should change when school begins for high school students, it began by looking at the data. But what’s so great about data? The state — with some cooperation from the Bend school district — has actively undermined efforts to research student performance. So why does research and data matter when it comes to student start times but not when it comes to what they do in school?

REP. JULIE PARRISH CALLS ON GOVERNOR BROWN TO VETO SB 1528

Parrish says small businesses already face burden of minimum wage increase, new payroll tax on July 1st

 

WEST LINN, OR – Representative Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin/West Linn) today sent a formal request to Governor Kate Brown to veto Senate Bill 1528, the measure that disconnects Oregon from the federal tax code and creates a new, niche tax credit scheme that will likely be accessed by Oregon’s ultra-wealthy tax filers.  Parrish’s veto request raises concerns that the average small business can’t keep up with tax increase demands and legislative mandates.

 

“On July 1st, Oregon small businesses will be faced with another bump in the minimum wage, and a new payroll tax increase stemming from the 2017 transportation package.  These new costs arrive on top of the healthcare premium tax passed by the legislature,” Parrish stated.  “Disconnecting from the federal tax code creates additional accounting burdens and robs small businesses of needed cash flow to pay their bills and hire their neighbors.”

 

A specific concern Parrish relays to Brown is the impact on 192,000 Schedule-C tax filers whose average income is just $23,300.  “Senate Bill 1528 creates a tax scheme loophole for wealthy Oregonians on the backs of these filers, a majority for whom this income is in lieu of W-2 income they’d earn if they were employed for someone else’s company.  Unlike W-2 income earners however, these tax filers bear the full burden for self-employment taxes, FICA, SSI, and Medicare – a total state and local tax burden of 30.5% of their total business income if we don’t connect to the federal tax code, and 3.5% higher than the effective tax rate of Oregon’s largest corporations.”

 

In total, there are over 400,000 tax filers who will be negatively impacted by the state’s failure to connect, creating an additional headache for some filers who will be forced to keep two sets of business records to maintain tax compliance.

 

“There’s nearly $100 million in new spending from the short session sitting on the Governor’s desk, not to mention millions in new bonded debt.  This disconnect bill highlights the real disconnect happening in Salem – that Oregon’s small businesses are bearing the burden of increased government spending and a failure to address systemic cost reforms around PERS and healthcare expenditures,” Parrish said.

 

Parrish went on to remind Brown that she approved $100 million in new raises for public employees, whose average compensation increased by $2,000 per employee, while connecting to the federal tax code would yield small business owners a nominal $359 average pay increase.  “Between new taxes, fees, and mandates, Oregon small businesses owners are seeing their take home income stagnant.  Connecting to the federal tax code will provide a small pay raise to the hundreds of thousands of family, local, and small business owners who continue to have their costs increased by legislative mandates.”

 

In accordance with state law, Governor Brown has 30 business days from which to decide whether to approve or veto legislation upon adjournment of the legislature.  Parrish hopes the governor will consider the livelihoods of 400,000 small business owners and job creators and weigh her decision to veto against looming tax and cost increases that will hit business owners in July.

 

“You can’t campaign on supporting Oregon small business while simultaneously pummeling business owners with taxes, fees, and mandates.  Enough is enough – I hope she’ll look at this bill in the entire context of all the burdens she’s already signed into law since she’s began serving as governor.”

 

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Daily Clips

Destined to fail: Oregon officials missed taxpayer-backed mill project’s red flags

The Oregonian

When state and federal officials approved $8 million in taxpayer financing for a Southern Oregon sawmill project, they did so on the premise the investment would bring back jobs. But officials greenlighted the project despite warning signs the plan to retool the mothballed mill was likely doomed to fail. Sure enough, even with the expensive taxpayer-provided upgrades, the reopened Rough & Ready mill operated for less than 20 months before shutting down for good. Its equipment has been auctioned off, the land sold and the promised jobs only briefly delivered. The failed project was overseen by Portland environmental nonprofit Ecotrust.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Boshart Davis makes run for state House seat

Capital Press

She added that while she has never run for office, she is no stranger to campaigns, having been involved in campaigns to defeat Measure 92, the GMO-labeling measure that voters rejected in 2014, and Measure 97, the gross-receipts tax measure that voters rejected in 2016. Davis also is no stranger to the Capitol. “I have probably testified on anywhere from 20 to 25 different issues over the past few years, from diesel to emissions to labor, manufacturing, pesticides — all of these multiple issues that have hit us (in agriculture) over the past few years. And I am very involved in the Oregon Seed Council, Oregon Aglink, Oregon Women for Agriculture and Farm Bureau.”

 

Atkinson, Schreffler file for Esquivel’s seat

Mail Tribune

The race for the Oregon House seat now held by Sal Esquivel has heated up, with Democrats Michelle Blum Atkinson and Rick Schreffler becoming candidates Tuesday, the last day of the filing deadline. Schreffler, who was on the Rogue Valley Transportation District board from 2007-2011, will vie with Atkinson, who ran unsuccessfully for Medford City Council in 2016, in the May primary. The victor will likely take on Kim Wallan, a Medford city councilor who is the only Republican to register, and Al Densmore, former Medford mayor and legislator, who is running as an independent.

 

PUBLIC RECORDS

 

Q&A: Oregon’s new public records advocate talks transparency

The Oregonian

Oregonians have the right to know what their government is up to, but public agencies’ notions of transparency don’t always match those of citizens or the media. That’s why the Oregon Legislature created the role of public records advocate. The idea is that the advocate will mediate disputes between those who want records and the state agencies who have them. Gov. Kate Brown picked Ginger McCall for the job. As an attorney, McCall has represented records requesters as well as government agencies.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Oregon Recovers $3.4 Million From Insurance Companies In 2017

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The state recovered about $3.4 million in unpaid insurance money for Oregonians last year. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation says it investigated more than 4,000 insurance complaints last year. They came from people who said their claims were underpaid or who disputed the settlement their insurance offered. Claim denials and delays topped the list of reasons people filed complaints with the state.

 

In Oregon, pushing to give patients with degenerative diseases the right to die

The Washington Post

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D), chair of Oregon’s House Committee on Health Care, began looking into expanding the state’s Death with Dignity law a few years ago, when a well-known 78-year-old lobbyist in Salem, Ore., fatally shot himself in the head after learning that he had Alzheimer’s. “That really shook me up,” said Greenlick, a retired director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. “I started thinking, people with Alzheimer’s should be able to have some control over how they die, rather than having to shoot themselves.” His 2015 attempt to expand the terminally ill window from six months to a year failed. Next year he plans to float another bill that would open up the state’s Death with Dignity law to dementia patients by doing away with all stipulations about terminal time limits.

 

EDUCATION

 

Smith is vice co-chair of student success panel

MyColumbiaBasin

State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) is serving as co-vice chairman of a panel of senators and representatives put together to explore ways the Oregon Legislature can work to ensure all students have an equal chance at succeeding. The panel basically revamps the education committees in the Legislature. Smith is the only committee member from Eastern Oregon. Its members include seven senators and seven representatives. Six of the members are Republicans.

 

AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Klamath Tribal Chief: Natural Gas Pipeline to Coos Bay Would Create the “Next Standing Rock”

Willamette Week

“As far as the Klamath people are concerned, this pipeline is a bad idea even if the price of gas were predicted to skyrocket,” Gentry writes. “The Klamath people oppose this project because it puts at risk their watersheds, forests, bays, culture, spiritual places, homes, climate and future.” The Jordan Cove project appeared dead under the Obama administration but President Donald J. Trump is much friendlier to fossil fuel projects.

 

Gov. Brown likely to sign drought declaration for Klamath County this week

Herald and News

Klamath County Commissioner Donnie Boyd and Scott White, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, met in Salem recently with Gov. Kate Brown about drought conditions, where Brown committed to Boyd and White that she would sign a declaration of drought for Klamath County sometime this coming week.

 

Walden ‘optimistic’ on emergency funds, talks to solve water crisis

Herald and News

As the Bureau of Reclamation meeting ended just miles away, Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., spoke to several farmers and local leaders about his own thoughts on the continued Klamath Basin water crisis. At least a dozen farmers, city and county officials stopped into the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce offices to hear Walden address this year’s water crisis, which continues to interfere with the day-to-day operations of ranchers, irrigators and Klamath Tribe members.

 

JEFF KRUSE

 

Jeff Kruse interview: Not the ending he had in mind

Roseburg News-Review

Kruse resigned from the Legislature this month after 22 years in office. It was two years earlier than he planned, and he was under fire for allegations he had inappropriately touched women he worked with in Salem. He continues to deny that he did anything wrong. And he hopes the controversy isn’t what he’s remembered for.

 

Ousted Oregon State Senator Calls Sexual Harassment Claims ‘Scripted’

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kruse hasn’t spoken publicly, or responded to reporter inquiries, since he left the Legislature in February — and his resignation became irreversible soon after — following allegations that he groped and sexually harassed female legislators and other staffers.

 

Resigning Oregon senator hits back on ‘scripted’ sex misconduct claims

The Oregonian

But on Friday, he said he resigned without the extent of his due process so as not to distract from the legislative session’s business. He also made a plea for his legacy to be remembered aside from his swift downfall, which he called a scripted “soap opera” designed for political gain. The independent investigator in response urged the public to read the report detailing years of inappropriate behavior.

 

POLICE & PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Oregon House OK’s funding for Eagle Creek Fire recovery

Gresham Outlook

The Oregon House approved funding last weekend to support the Eagle Creek Fire recovery efforts. House Bill 4152, which was approved via vote on Saturday, March 3, provides grants through the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to support the Multnomah County and Hood River County sheriff’s offices as their crews work to make burn areas safe to the public. The chief sponsors of the bill were Rep. Jeff Helfrich, R-Hood River, and Sen. Chuck Thomsen, R-Hood River.

 

Money to boost public safety included in Oregon Legislature’s end-of-session funding

Statesman Journal

Law and order agencies across the state were among dozens of organizations to receive a financial boost from the Oregon Legislature as the session came to a close March 3, receiving requested funds to support current staffing or to forestall declining services.

 

Woodburn works against immigration rhetoric to build trust in police

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Advocates say this is Oregon’s sanctuary law at work. The state’s 30-year-old policy limits police from cooperating with federal immigration efforts. A number of cities and counties, including Portland, have their own policies promising immigrants protection. And that, supporters of such policies say, means immigrants with no criminal record feel comfortable calling law enforcement — even if they’re calling to ask local police to protect them from federal agents.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Board seeks proposals on reload center

Ontario Argus Observer

The center would be a centralized location for commodities to be delivered by truck to then be reloaded on to railcars for transport to domestic markets and to ports for shipments overseas. The project was included in the transportation package approved by the 2017 Oregon Legislature and funded at about $26 million. Board members for the corporation were appointed by the Malheur County Court. The board’s first order of business was to select a site for the reload center.

 

GUNS

 

America’s Gun Background Check System Riddled With Flaws

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The problem with the legislation, experts say, is that it only works if federal agencies, the military, states, courts and local law enforcement do a better job of sharing information with the background check system — and they have a poor track record in doing so. Some of the nation’s most horrific mass shootings have revealed major holes in the database reporting system, including massacres at Virginia Tech in 2007 and at a Texas church last year.

 

Lawmakers to consider bills that protect gun retailers

Portland Tribune

Under state and federal law, Oregonians 18 and older can buy rifles and shotguns, and the ammunition for those firearms. You must be at least 21 to buy a handgun and handgun ammunition. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has concluded gun retailers that have stopped selling to customers younger than 21 in the wake of recent mass shootings could be violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws. The decision could be challenged at the Bureau of Labor and Industries or in a civil court complaint.

 

OPINION

Editorial: Good governance is frequently bland

Daily Astorian

Most bills that passed did so on a bipartisan basis, many on unanimous or near-unanimous votes. Among the exceptions were the Democratic majority’s bills to partially disconnect Oregon income tax regulations from the federal tax reforms that became law in December. The wisdom of the state legislation, or lack thereof, likely won’t be known for some time. And despite legislators’ sometimes heated public rhetoric on taxes, immigration and a few other issues, this was a legislative session that largely worked well behind the scenes. Republicans and Democrats collaborated to make an early adjournment possible. Oregon history books may pay little heed to the 2018 Legislature, and that’s OK. Good governance is frequently bland, often tedious … and supremely important.

 

Editorial: The tedious nature of legislation

East Oregonian

Most legislation is tedious — making fixes in laws and regulations, adjusting the state budget, correcting spellings such as for the Central Oregon community of Terrebonne, and the like. Such legislation rarely makes headlines. But it comprises the nuts and bolts of governance, and it was the essence of the 2018 Legislature. Legislative sessions in even-numbered years are short — limited to 35 days — because they’re designed for fix-it and budget balancing bills, not grand visionary legislation. And the 2018 Legislature, which adjourned after only 27 days, largely succeeded in that mission.

 

Editorial: Retailers move a step in right direction

Portland Tribune

Oregonians are all too familiar with the lethal force of the AR-15. It was the weapon used by the gunman in the 2012 Clackamas Town Center shooting, the 2014 Reynold High School shooting, and was in the arsenal of weapons the shooter brought onto the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg in 2015.

 

Editorial: Public’s help needed to get clean-energy bill passed in 2019

Statesman Journal

“It’s a pretty firm commitment to getting it done next year,” said Brad Reed, a spokesman for Renew Oregon, a nonprofit that believes that clean energy and a prosperous state are not mutually exclusive. But supporters say it won’t be easy if the groundswell of grassroots advocacy dries up during the interim. So when lawmakers are on the campaign trail this year, Oregonians should show up at town halls and other stump stops, and speak up. Showing up and engaging is how state officials know Oregonians are paying attention to their futures.

 

Editorial: In housing puzzle, tracking rentals is critical piece

The Oregonian Editorial Board

While Mayor Ted Wheeler campaigned on the need for a rental registry, there remains a disturbing lack of urgency in the work to get it up and going. Interim Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon Callahan confirms the registry is a relatively simple set-up, as far as city tech projects go. That being said, a “beta” version with basic information – units and addresses – won’t be ready to test in-house until June.

 

Is Kate Brown “Easily” the Most Anti-Small Business Governor in Oregon History?

If She Signs the $244M Tax Hike Passed By House & Senate Democrats, Yes
Oregon GOP Chair Says Governor Brown Damaging Oregon’s Job Machine

Wilsonville, OR – Democrat Governor Kate Brown is currently weighing whether to sign Senate Bill 1528 – a bill that amounts to a devastating new tax hike on Oregon’s small businesses that could cost them up to $1 billion by 2023.

The Bend Bulletin is raising the question in a new editorial – “Does Kate Brown really want to help small business?”  The answer? If history is any guide, probably not:

[Governor Brown has said] “Small businesses are the backbone of Oregon’s economy, creating 70 percent of new jobs in the state” and that “We can encourage job growth by giving small-business owners and emerging entrepreneurs the tools they need to expand.”

…It would be astonishing for a governor who has declared so forthrightly that she wants to give small businesses tools to expand to aim to take $1 billion away from small businesses.

“Kate Brown has struck massive blows to Oregonians and their employers by signing massive new tax hikes on energy and healthcare, but now she is about to easily clinch the title as the most anti-small business Governor in Oregon history,” stated Oregon Republican Chairman Bill Currier.

“Governor Brown has betrayed her rhetoric on small businesses time and time again. Oregonians deserve better than a tax-hiking Governor who won’t stand up for the ‘backbone’ of our economy,” said Chair Currier.

“Damaging our state’s small business job-creating engine to fund out-of-control spending in Salem gives Oregon voters yet another reason to end her disastrous governorship this November.”

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. Its Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

###

Oregon Republican Party

Communications Director

Kevin Hoar
Email:
communications.director@oregon.gop

Website: Oregon.GOP

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oregonrepublicanparty/

Twitter: @Oregon_GOP

XML Feed: https://oregon.gop/rss.xml

Main: (503) 595-8881

Direct: (503) 902-4671

Fax: (503) 697-5555

Headquarters: 25375 SW Parkway Ave, Suite 200, Wilsonville, OR 97070

GOOD News…

Good news…you won’t hear in the FAKE News!

 

February Jobs Report Exceeds Expectations: http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2018/03/09/february-jobs-report-2/

3 Million Jobs Added Since TRUMP election: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/09/sarah-sanders-nearly-3-million-u-s-jobs-added-since-donald-trump-elected-president/

US Manufacturers Add 224,000 jobs in 1 year: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/09/this-is-the-greatest-manufacturing-jobs-boom-in-twenty-years/

Record Number of Americans Employed: https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/155215000-number-employed-americans-sets-8th-record-trump-era

US Steel calls back 500 employees to Illinois Plant: http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2018/03/07/winning-u-s-steel-call-back-500-employees-illinois-plant-trump-announces-tariffs-foreign-steel/

USA is getting closer to energy independence: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/05/soaring-american-oil-production-will-push-u-s-close-to-energy-independence/

Jobless Claims hit lowest level since 1969: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/01/jobless-claims-hit-lowest-level-since-1969/

3.2 Million Americans will drop Obamacare over the next few years: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/03/01/report-3-2-million-americans-will-drop-obamacare-for-association-health-plans/

TRUMP strikes Deal to save $1.4 Million on Air Force One Planes: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/02/27/donald-trump-strikes-deal-to-save-1-4-billion-on-air-force-one-planes/

 

TRUMP making America Great Again – Tax Reduction…Job Creation…Consumer Confidence…Energy Independence…Productivity…and PROSPERITY all improving in the first 12 months!

 

Still in Denial: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/03/01

Public-Sector Unions: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/02/28

Fix-It: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2018/03/08

 

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

Hildebrandt & Company PC

Certified Public Accountants

1615 Fourth Street

La Grande OR  97850

Telephone: (541) 963-7930

Fax: (541) 963-7750

Email: hilde@eoni.com

 

New Tax Incentive for Oregon Businesses

Secretary of State

DENNIS RICHARDSON

The State of Oregon

900 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310  –

 oregon.sos@oregon.gov

New Tax Incentive for Oregon Businesses

I want to share with you an exciting new federal tax incentive created to drive investment in communities that have previously been hampered by a lack of access to capital. The potential for Oregon investors and small businesses to benefit is enormous if action is taken before March 14.

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 allows Oregon’s Governor to nominate up to 86 Opportunity Zones in our state. The final selections will be made by the U.S. Department of Treasury from this list. These Opportunity Zones are similar to enterprise zones and are designed to draw private investment to low-income communities.

Business owners around the state have until March 14 to provide input to Business Oregon on the best locations for these 86 Opportunity Zones.

To understand why these Opportunity Zones are so important, consider the investment potential they offer. Under the new federal tax laws, investors with currently unrealized capital gains can move those gains “tax deferred” into an “Opportunity Fund.”  Opportunity Funds (O-Funds) are expected to be created by CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions).

Once placed in an O-Fund, the amount invested will be available to invest in property and improvements in Opportunity Zones, with some limitations. Please consult a professional tax advisor for specifics, but our understanding is that investors who leave their money in the O-Fund for 10 years will qualify for a 15% decrease in capital gains taxes on the original sum they invested. Plus, any gains earned through the fund’s investments are tax-free under current state and federal law.

To understand the significance of this new federal incentive for investing in an Opportunity Zone, consider the following example:

“Susie has $100 of unrealized capital gains in her stock portfolio. She decides in 2018 to reinvest those gains into an O-Fund that invests in distressed areas of her home state, and she holds that investment for 10 years. Susie is able to defer the tax she owes on her original $100 of capital gains until 2026. Further, the basis is increased by 15% (effectively reducing her $100 of taxable capital gains to $85). Thus, she will owe $20 (23.8% of $85) of tax on her original capital gains when the bill finally comes due. In addition, since she holds her O-Fund investment for at least 10 years, she owes no capital gains tax on its appreciation. Assuming that her O-Fund investment grows 7% annually, the after-tax value of her original $100 investment in 2028 is $176. Susie has enjoyed a 5.8% effective annual return, compared to the 2.8% an equivalent non-O-Fund investment would have delivered.” (Credit: Economic Innovation Group Fact Sheet)

Oregon can only nominate up to 86 Opportunity Zones – approximately one-quarter of the areas that actually qualify as Low Income Census tracts (LICs). Potentially eligible LIC areas are located in most regions of the state—both urban and rural. You can see a map here.

Business Oregon is taking the lead on this process. They are actively seeking input and nomination requests from interested Oregonians. Business Oregon must receive all of these nominations by March 14. They will then work with the Governor’s office to develop a final nomination list to be sent to the federal government.

My understanding is that the Opportunity Zones that will be successful in the nomination process should already have the potential to handle outside investment. They may already have infrastructure in place and some zoning ready to go, and they may be adjacent to enterprise zones if they otherwise qualify.

In short, Oregon’s Opportunity Zones will create new opportunities for investment and job creation. If you are an Oregon business owner, please consider whether this new federal tax law could benefit your business. Recommendations should be sent to Business Oregon, and more information is available here.

 

Daily Clips

ELECTIONS

 

Lori Chavez-DeRemer plans rematch against Democrat Janelle Bynum

Portland Tribune

“House District 51 deserves a voice in the Legislature. I am committed to the people of House District 51 and to our state, and that’s why I am standing up and accepting the challenge. I was asked to step up, shown there is a pathway to victory and to help give House District 51 the voice we deserve, that we do not have right now under Representative Bynum’s failed leadership.

 

“I am running to take my record of standing up for our community, our values and our hopes, to the Statehouse, where left-wing special interests dictate policies through bought politicians like Representative Janelle Bynum. We need people in the Legislature who will stand up to the status quo, not perpetuate it for personal gain. Our state is among the worst in the nation for education, mental health, fiscal security in our pension system, the list goes on. It doesn’t have to be that way. Unfortunately, under the governor and one-party rule, the system has become broken.

 

“I believe in the Oregon Way. We have so many different cultures and perspectives in Oregon and I’m running to advocate for a more equitable, fairer, inclusive system. I am running to end the status quo and fight for a better future for all Oregonians.”

 

2018 SESSION

 

Oregon won’t allow 529 tax breaks for K-12 private school

The Oregonian

Oregon parents won’t get a state tax break on money they save to pay for K-12 private schooling, lawmakers have decided. That’s despite a federal tax break approved in December as part of a congressional tax overhaul. Traditional college savings plans – known as 529 accounts – have offered an incentive for families to save for college. Parents and students invest in 529s and, if the accounts increase in value, they can withdraw that increase – tax free – to pay for college expenses.

 

School sexual misconduct bill passes through legislature, awaits governor’s signature

Statesman Journal

“We are encouraged that both the House and the Senate supported the bill,” parent Dionne Miller said. “We’re confident that it’s really just the beginning of what inevitably will be a huge reform in how K-12 looks to handle circumstances like ours.” Under the bill, when students make sexual misconduct claims, school districts would be required to notify the students, and their parents, when the investigation is concluded; whether a violation occurred; and what measures the district is making to prevent the misconduct from happening in the future.

 

AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Oregon mega-dairy sued by state for release of wastewater, by contractors for unpaid bills

The Oregonian

The controversial Boardman-area mega-dairy that drew thousands of opponents as it prepared to open last April may be forced to close in the wake of state fines, enforcement actions and now a lawsuit. The Oregon Department of Agriculture asked a Multnomah County judge late last month to temporarily stop the dairy’s ability to create or discharge wastewater after eight months of non-stop permit violations.

 

Water users push back on injunction

Herald and News

A group of Klamath Basin water users Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco pushing for at least a delay in the court-ordered injunction to keep 50,000 acre feet held in reserve in Upper Klamath Lake. The water is to be used to flush out the Klamath River in the spring to mitigate the impact of disease on coho salmon.

 

GOVERNOR BROWN

 

Gov. Brown testifies in U.S. Senate about opioid crisis

Bend Bulletin

Touting Oregon’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis, Gov. Kate Brown told a U.S. Senate committee Thursday that states need the federal government to step up its efforts by providing more money and moving beyond punishment of drug users to prevention. “Right now, the federal government recognizes the problem but is focused on punishment,” Brown said. “That leaves us — the states — to right the wrongs of a war on drugs.”

 

COURTS & PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Immigrant’s meth conviction reversed over deportation confusion

The Oregonian

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday threw out the conviction of a Wilsonville methamphetamine dealer because his defense attorney didn’t tell him that he faced mandatory deportation. Javier Garcia-Navarro, 48, had lived many years in the U.S. as a permanent legal resident when he was caught in 2012 selling methamphetamine to an informant and had two small baggies in his car while returning from a trip visiting family in Mexico, investigators said.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Does Kate Brown really want to help small business?

Bend Bulletin

Even if you are a surrealism fan, it would be astonishing for a governor who has declared so forthrightly that she wants to give small businesses tools to expand to aim to take $1 billion away from small businesses.

 

Editorial: Advance directive bill offers a step forward

Albany Democrat-Herald

The fact that Oregon was the first state in the nation to adopt legislation regarding advance directives speaks well of this state’s leadership in end-of-life issues. But there’s obviously still a lot of work ahead, work to dispel rumors, work to explain the huge difference that an advance directive can make — not just for better deaths but for better lives as well.

 

Editorial: Don’t rely on taxes to solve affordable housing

Bend Bulletin

It’s more difficult to extend that argument to much of the land east of the Cascades, however. Over here on the high, dry side of the state, much highly profitable agriculture is limited to areas near the Columbia River and to those with elevations substantially below Bend’s 3,623 feet. Moreover, in counties like Deschutes, with 80 percent or more of land in public ownership, urban sprawl is unlikely. Oregonians must recognize and tell their lawmakers: If more land were available for homes in Bend, Medford, Portland — you name it — it would ease pressure on prices to rise.

 

Guest: C’mon Courtney: ‘Cap and gown?’ It’s time to get serious

Anthony Effinger, Portland resident

In a bizarre news conference on Jan. 29, you claimed that this year’s 35-day legislative session – that ended with a climate-ignoring whimper on March 3 — was too short to consider complex cap-and-trade climate bills like the one that your own Democratic caucus supports. I say bizarre because you kept calling the system “cap and gown.” Was that supposed to be funny? Like, the 10 years of work that scientists and lawmakers have put into these bills is something to be mocked? What does a gown have to do with climate change? The Democrats who pushed for action did so because the legislature already took up the Clean Energy Jobs bills in the long, luxurious 160-day session last year. Nothing happened then, so why should I believe that you’ll do something in 2019?

 

Guest: Sheriff Mike Reese: Arming teachers is a mistake

Cindy and Mike Reese

Finally, if we are serious about reducing gun violence in our schools, we need legislation to limit high-capacity magazines, assault style weapons and the age allowed to purchase firearms. There is no single solution to the problem of gun violence in our schools, but there are steps we can take to make a positive difference. Arming teachers is not one of them.

 

Column: Trump’s trade taunts turn dangerously real

Tim Nesbitt, public policy consultant and former president of the Oregon AFL-CIO

Campaign rhetoric is no substitute for smart governance. That was proven with the wrangle over Obamacare, where more sensible politics averted real damage to our health care system. But rhetoric appears to be ascendant over reality on the trade front now. And, at some point, this febrile governing-by-tweet-and-taunt will unleash a cascade of consequences for our jobs and our economy that even the fixers can’t fix.

House Democrats hit smallest of Oregon small businesses with last-minute money grab

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

 

SB 1528 passed both chambers of the Legislature without a single Republican vote

 

Salem, Ore. – Oregon House Democrats today approved legislation that will increase the tax burden on the smallest of Oregon small businesses by hundreds of millions of dollars. Passed without a single Republican yes vote, SB 1528 will unfairly prioritize benefits for large corporations and wealthy Oregonians while slamming mom and pop businesses like Schedule-C self-employed filers with higher tax bills.

 

“Most small businesses in Oregon are not made of wealthy attorneys or medical professions,” said Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls). Statistics from the Oregon Department of Revenue tell us that these nearly 300,000 small Oregon businesses who will be negatively affected by SB 1528 are made up of 1-2 individuals and make a gross total of less than $50,000/year. These are mostly self-employed, home-based businesses — for example mom’s who sell their crafts on Etsy or eBay to help make ends meet; uber drivers and freelance writers.

 

“Small businesses aren’t small when you look at Oregon’s economy. Small businesses account for 1/2 of Oregon’s workforce. Oregon’s small businesses indeed are the engine of our economy — and yet — SB 1528 will take away a tax incentive for this vital part of Oregon’s economy to not just survive, but to thrive.”

 

Republicans pointed out that one of the biggest losers in the wake of SB 1528 would be Schedule C self-employed filers. According to data obtained by Representative Parrish from the Oregon Department of Revenue, 192,000 “Schedule-C” filers would not be eligible for a 20% reduction on their Oregon income taxes if SB 1582 goes into law.  With an effective state tax rate of 7.7%, these hardworking Oregonians already pay a higher tax rate than large Oregon C-corporations. Estimates provided by the Legislative Revenue Office show SB 1528 will raise approximately $258 million in new revenue for the State of Oregon. Roughly 40%, or $103 million, will be paid for by Schedule-C filers.

 

“Under SB 1528, 192,000 Schedule-C filers will be shouldering 40% of the overall burden of being disconnected from the federal tax code,” said Representative Julie Parrish (R-West Linn). “That’s $103 million that will not be available for those local and family owned companies to reinvest in their businesses or put food on the table for their families. That’s money they won’t have to spend in their local economy. These are not “crumbs” as U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would like us to believe — these are real dollars that make a real impact for these small business owners.”

 

SB 1528 passed by a vote of 38-28, with several House Democrats joining Republicans in opposing the bill. Prior to the passage of the bill, House Democrats rejected a minority report to the bill that would have full reconnected Oregon to the federal tax code.

 

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