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ORP: THE OREGON REPUBLICAN: February 12, 2010

The Oregon Republican
Friday, February 12th

TAX HIKES CREATE ANXIETY
After voters approve increases, companies plan layoffs, shut divisions, consider moving
By Andy Giegerich
February 12, 2010

Barely two weeks after Oregonians increased taxes on businesses, some doomsday scenarios are coming true, with businesses employing hundreds of workers planning layoffs, shuttering divisions, delaying expansions or moving their businesses altogether.

Among the activity:

• Comnet Marketing Group Inc., a Medford-based telephone survey group, will move most of its 150 jobs within four years. It is also foregoing expansions that would have added another 150 jobs to its Oregon work force.

• Blue Line Transportation Co., a Portland trucking firm, will likely move a division that generates $2 million in annual sales to Idaho. The hikes would have boosted the division’s yearly taxes to $10,000.

Click Here to continue reading Tax Hikes Create Anxiety



Governor says ‘kicker’ tax rebate reform is out

Friday, February 12, 2010

SALEM (AP) – Gov. Ted Kulongoski hoped to make changing the state’s unique ‘kicker’ tax rebates one of his last hurrahs, but it turned out few others were cheering along.

The Democratic governor issued a terse statement Thursday saying the Legislature’s leadership, from his own party, had told him that kicker reform was out, at least for the four-week session now under way.

“The people of Oregon deserve better,” said Kulongoski, serving the last year in his two terms as governor. State law forbids him to run for a third, consecutive term.

The kicker rebate sends money back to taxpayers when revenue collections are more than 2 percent above projections. The rebates often go to taxpayers before Christmas and have proved popular enough for voters to put the kicker in the state constitution.

Click Here to continue reading about No Tax Kicker This Session


Warning over employer gag bill changes
Oregonians For Food and Shelter
February 11, 2010

EMPLOYER GAG BILL CHANGE:  HB 3653 would revisit SB 519 that passed in the 2009 session of the legislature which in essence says that employers shall not discuss politics or religion during work required meetings with employees.  HB 3653 would reopen the issue to state that employers cannot take adverse employment action against employees who decide not to attend these meetings.

Associated Oregon Industries is challenging SB 519 in federal court. The business community believes that this 2009 legislation will be found illegal under federal law and will likely be found unconstitutional at either the state or federal level.  A hearing of summary judgment is expected in early April.

A broad coalition of Oregon business opposes changes to SB 519 passed in the 2009 session until the legal and constitutional questions of the legislation have been addressed in the courts.

Click Here to read more from the Natural Resources Report and Oregonians for Food and Shelter website


Oregon’s Economic Plan: Spend More, Tax More, Borrow More
Special Session Report
State Representative Dennis Richardson (HD-4)

Individuals, families and businesses, during hard economic times where there is not enough money to pay the bills, have three options:  lower expenditures, increase income or combine the two.  The State of Oregon has chosen a different strategy.  During this, the “Great Recession,” Oregon has had a six word economic plan:  Spend More, Tax More, Borrow More.

Click Here to read Rep. Richardson’s Special Session Report


Charities push back on plan to limit deductions
By Eric Fingerhut
February 10, 2010

WASHINGTON For the second time in as many years, the Obama administration is proposing to reduce the tax deduction that wealthy taxpayers receive for charitable contributions.  And once again, some charities—including several religious groups—are pushing back against the plan.

A number of non-profit groups have criticized or raised questions about the proposal, which was included in the president’s 2011 budget released Monday (Feb. 1). They believe such a move would mean a certain decline in charitable donations, which would be especially harmful in an already turbulent economy.

Click Here to continue reading about Obama Administration attempt to limit deductions


New poll says Oregonians opposed to earned time extension
By Senate Republican Office
Monday February 8, 2010

Salem, OR – A new poll from Moore Information indicates that Oregonians would support a repeal of the 30% earned time law passed last session. The law, sponsored by Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland) and supported by Democrat leadership in the House and Senate, has allowed violent offenders guilty of felonies like home invasion, car theft, and encouraging child sexual abuse, to receive up to a 30% reduction in their sentence, turning Oregon’s criminal justice system into a program of “catch and release.” The previous limit was a 20% earned time credit.

“Oregonians need to know that they are safe in their homes, and that their children are safe in their neighborhoods,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “The thirty percent earned time law installs a revolving door in our prison system.”

The survey, conducted February 3-4 among a sample of 500 registered Oregon voters, says that 52% of Oregon voters would favor outright repeal of the 30% earned time law and returning to the 20% level, while just 37% were opposed. The survey also learned that 61% of voters would oppose a legislator who voted for the 30% earned time law.

State Attorney General John Kroger is on record favoring a 15% earned time law. The legislature is currently considering tweaks to the earned time law.



Atkinson Watch
By Capital Watch

Salem, OR – In Atkinson related legislative news, the Senator has had a successful session to date. The Senate took action last week to override the Governor’s veto of an Atkinson bill designed to promote fish hatchery health. And Atkinson has been stirring things up by demanding an end to taxation of the unemployed. His name has also been rumored as a potential challenger for Senator Ron Wyden.

Click Here to read more from The Oregon Catalyst and read the cover story in Southern Oregon Magazine


Rep. Matt Wingard: Support for bill to reform BETC, curtail tax giveaways
By State Representative Matt Wingard (HD-26)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Salem — Rep. Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) today supported House Bill 3680 to reform and reduce the costs of the state’s Business Energy Tax Credit. Last month, he warned his colleagues that the state had authorized $336 million in 2009 “pre-certified” tax giveaways under the program. According to the Legislative Revenue Office, it turns out the real number of pre-certified credits was $1.66 billion.

“This bill should have been approved before Oregonians were asked to pass income and corporate tax increases,” Rep. Wingard said. “The BETC program has directed hundreds of millions of dollars away from critical programs and services. While this bill is better late than never, taxpayers will be on the hook to pay for these tax credits for years to come.”

Click Here to continue reading about House Bill to stop tax giveaway


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