Taxes & Budgets

The Portland Business Alliance is always engaged in how local, regional and state governments are generating revenue through taxes and fees and spending those public dollars. The Alliance advocates for fair and appropriate business taxes and fees to encourage an environment in which businesses can grow and add jobs. The Alliance regularly weighs in on various government budgets to ensure that the business voice is heard during those discussions.


Latest Activity

Tell Congress: Act now and help American businesses recover!

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began over 65 million Americans have filed for unemployment and over 100,000 small businesses have closed for good.

VIDEO: November Election Debrief, the Highs & Lows of a Historic Year

Watch the virtual forum event from November 18, 2020.

VIDEO: Election Q&A: Portland Commissioner No. 2

On April 29, we hosted a two-part discussion with candidates running for Portland's City Council, Commissioner Number 2 in the May 19 primary election.

#WeAreHereTogether – show your support with a sign

We are proud to endorse Measure 26-210 in the May primary to help end chronic homelessness in our region.

COVID-19: Federal response update

The latest federal efforts to help with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Portland Business Alliance Endorses Homeless Services Funding Measure

Representing the largest, most diverse business network in the region, greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce urges voters to approve supportive services to address chronic homelessness

Regional Economic Toolkit combines economic research, public opinion and policy roadmap

This first edition of our greater Portland Regional Economic Toolkit represents hours of transparent process and collaboration by our members, as well as trusted research by regional experts on public opinion with DHM Research and economic data analysis by ECONorthwest.

2020 Member-Driven Policy Agenda

This policy agenda represents a six-month transparent and member-led process that included more than 150 hours of committee meetings and engagement by members of the Portland Business Alliance, community advocates, nonprofit leaders and government officials

Help shape the policy agenda for the Portland business community

Announcing new policy committees and member-driven policy agenda process.

Leadership introduces PERS reform – Contact your legislator today

After passing $2 billion in business taxes to boost school funding, legislative leaders introduced a package (Senate Bill 1049) that will protect PERS benefits already earned and reinstates employee contributions to support the future of the pension system.

Report takes deep look at East County economy

Annual Economic Check-up finds disparities in jobs, housing, work-life balance compared to the rest of the region.

New poll finds top concerns for Portland region voters

Homelessness, housing affordability and congestion remain top concerns; Shift in views on city governance and climate change

Portland Police Budget

City tax code change

City approves increased spending

The city of Portland voted on a package of budget modifications on Nov. 8. Included on the package that received city council support was a Portland Police Bureau request for additional funds to recruit and hire 80 new officers in an effort to respond to a wave of expected retirements within the bureau and to aid in the reestablishment of a community policing model.

Oregon’s revenue forecast up again; kicker will kick

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the state’s Office of Economic Analysis released a new revenue forecast showing Oregon’s economy - and revenue growth for schools and other public services – continues to grow.

2017 legislative wrap up

The 2017 legislative session adjourned sine die on Friday, July 7, 2017. The session began with two major issues to tackle: addressing the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit and passing a transportation package. With higher-than-expected revenues in the May revenue forecast, the number on which the budget is based, the deficit decreased to $1.4 billion. Though there were exceptions, for most of the session both chambers were reluctant to move controversial bills that could make bipartisan efforts related to the big issues more difficult.

A look at the 2017 legislative session

The 2017 legislative session adjourned on Friday, July 7, 2017. The session began in February with two major issues facing lawmakers: Addressing the state’s budget deficit of $1.6 billion (later revised to $1.4 billion after a better-than-expected May revenue forecast), and passing a comprehensive transportation package.

Brighter Oregon influenced discussions on the state budget

Beginning December of 2016 and throughout the 2017 legislative session, Brighter Oregon, the Oregon Business Plan coalition, advocated for a three-prong framework.

Transportation package updates and workplace regulations

After last-minute negotiations, the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization is set to release an updated transportation package that appears likely to move forward.

City and county approve budgets

The city and county each approved budgets for the 2017-2018 fiscal years.

May revenue forecast shows increases outpacing strong revenue growth

Forecasted revenues for the 2017-2019 biennium are up $187 million from the last forecast, due to continued strong economic performance, resulting in record high revenues for the state.

Transportation package, workplace related legislation

The potential framework includes $5.09 billion in new revenues from increased gas taxes as well as title and registration fees for the Highway Trust Fund.

Brighter Oregon calls for long-term solutions to state budget

The Portland Business Alliance is a participant in Brighter Oregon, the Oregon Business Plan coalition, formed to advocate for a solution to the $1.6 billion state budget deficit.

Alliance activity in the 2017 legislative session

For the 2017 legislative session, which launched on Feb. 1, the Alliance’s top priority is addressing the state budget deficit.

Business leaders visit Washington, D.C.

On behalf of the Oregon Business Plan delegation, the Alliance led its annual lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., from April 5 to 7.

Statement on Governor Kate Brown's announcement to cut state costs

The Brighter Oregon Coalition and the Alliance are glad to see the governor putting these concepts on the table.

Balanced approach needed to address state budget

The Alliance continues to work with partners to advocate for a solution to Oregon’s $1.6 billion budget deficit.

Alliance comments on Oregon State Retirement Plan rules

The Alliance submitted a letter to the Oregon State Treasurer’s office providing feedback on proposed rules to implement the Oregon State Retirement Plan, which the Legislature approved in 2015.

State revenue forecast grows

On Feb. 22, the state released an updated economic forecast, which revised revenue projections for the coming biennium upward.

Mayor Wheeler to prioritize affordable housing bond spending

On Dec. 14, Portland City Council approved spending up to $51 million to purchase a 263-unit apartment complex, $37 million of which may come from the $258 million affordable housing bond approved by voters in November.

Despite other needs, Council approves publicly financed elections

Portland City Council voted to approve Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s proposal for publicly financed elections.

Oregon Business Plan releases framework to address state budget challenges

Working together under the Oregon Business Plan, the Alliance and partner business associations have developed a framework for addressing the state budget shortfall.

City passes business income tax surcharge in 3-1 vote

Despite thorough lobbying efforts by the Alliance and assistance from impacted members, Portland City Council passed a business income tax surcharge in a 3-1 vote.

Statement on defeat of Measure 97

We are pleased that Oregon voters agreed with the Alliance and the 26,000 members of our statewide coalition that Measure 97 was a costly and damaging proposal that needed to be defeated.

City heads to vote on proposed business income tax surcharge

Commissioner Steve Novick is proposing a surcharge on the city’s business income tax for certain publicly traded companies that are subject to a new Securities Exchange Commission rule, which requires reporting of the ratio between CEO and the median employee compensation.

City delays hearing over proposed business license tax surcharge

Commissioner Steve Novick is proposing a surcharge on the city’s business license tax for companies that are publicly traded based on the pay ratio between the CEO and the median employee.

No on Measure 97

The Alliance continues to advocate to defeat Measure 97, a costly and damaging $6 billion proposed tax increase that will be on the November ballot.

Alliance voices concerns over proposed Portland Business Income Tax surcharge

The Alliance sent a letter to Portland City Council in opposition to a proposal by Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick’s that would impose a surcharge on the city’s Business Income Tax.

Alliance opposes publicly financed elections

The Alliance sent a letter to Portland City Council in opposition to Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s proposal for voter-owned elections, which, if passed, would make candidates for commissioner and mayor seats that are certified as a public finance candidate eligible for a matching program.

Join the fight against the $6 billion tax on Oregon sales

The Alliance continues to advocate to defeat IP 28, a costly and dangerous $6 billion proposed tax increase that will be on the November ballot.

Portland Public Schools capital bond delayed

Prior to the Portland Public School (PPS) Board’s decision to wait until May 2017 to ask voters to approve a capital bond for schools, the Alliance had advocated that the bond include all three high schools (Benson, Lincoln and Madison) that were originally planned for renovation, while also making priority investments to address lead contamination in the schools.

Initiative Petition 28 qualifies for the November ballot; join the coalition to defeat the tax

On June 6, the Oregon Secretary of State certified Initiative Petition (IP) 28, the $6 billion tax on Oregon sales, for the November ballot. IP 28 proposes a new 2.5 percent tax on the total Oregon sales – not profits – of businesses organized as C-Corps that generate $25 million or more in sales.

City Council refuses proposed Business License Tax increase, approves revised budget

Mayor Charlie Hales proposed a nearly 14 percent increase in the Business License Tax (BLT) as part of his budget, which would have generated $8.7 million in additional revenue.

PSU withdraws payroll tax from ballot

The Alliance came to an agreement with one of its longstanding partners, Portland State University, on the withdrawal of the proposed PSU payroll tax.

Legislative Revenue Office releases report on IP 28

Yesterday, Oregon’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) released a report on Initiative Proposal 28 (IP 28).

Alliance challenges Portland State University payroll tax

A citizens committee filed an initiative for the November 2016 ballot that would establish a payroll tax on employers within the Metro boundary to support scholarships, advisors and faculty at PSU.

Alliance raises concerns about Portland State University’s proposed payroll tax

The Alliance has a long history of supporting PSU and funding for post-secondary education statewide, but believes higher education is a state program and funding should be determined on a statewide basis, not regionally.

City of Portland demolition tax will not move forward

The Alliance testified on a proposal by Mayor Charlie Hales to create a demolition tax for residential structures, raising concerns that the new tax may put increased pressure on housing affordability in the city.

Alliance expresses concern for increase in tax increment financing for affordable housing

The Alliance is a longtime supporter of the appropriate use of tax increment financing and urban renewal, however it is concerned about the city’s proposed increase of TIF investments for affordable housing.

Alliance comments on Portland Building renovation

The Alliance submitted comments regarding the need for either significant reconstruction or replacement of the Portland Building.



Our hearts are heavy Our hearts are heavy
Balancing agreement in the chaos of politics Balancing agreement in the chaos of politics
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economic reports

As part of the Value of Jobs Coalition, the Alliance has a vision for the Portland region: To create a prosperous, healthy community with a good quality of life for everyone. This starts with more private-sector jobs. A series of reports by the coalition shows why family-wage, private-sector job creation must be a regional priority.
View Reports

join the growing pnita community

There are many reasons to join PNITA. As a member, you are part of a coalition of companies and organizations in the Pacific Northwest that proactively advocate for federal and state policies that promote fair and free international commerce. Members get access to exclusive events with policy-makers, as well as free or discounted access to events featuring trade experts and thought leaders. PNITA also provides members with timely and relevant news, data and information for those that want to stay in the know on trade. 

              Schnitzer Steel