Taxes & Budgets
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.
Annual Economic Check-up finds disparities in jobs, housing, work-life balance compared to the rest of the region.
Homelessness, housing affordability and congestion remain top concerns; Shift in views on city governance and climate change
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beginning December of 2016 and throughout the 2017 legislative session, Brighter Oregon, the Oregon Business Plan coalition, advocated for a three-prong framework.
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.
The city and county each approved budgets for the 2017-2018 fiscal years.
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.
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.
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.
For the 2017 legislative session, which launched on Feb. 1, the Alliance’s top priority is addressing the state budget deficit.
On behalf of the Oregon Business Plan delegation, the Alliance led its annual lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., from April 5 to 7.
The Brighter Oregon Coalition and the Alliance are glad to see the governor putting these concepts on the table.
The Alliance continues to work with partners to advocate for a solution to Oregon’s $1.6 billion budget deficit.
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.
On Feb. 22, the state released an updated economic forecast, which revised revenue projections for the coming biennium upward.
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.
Portland City Council voted to approve Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s proposal for publicly financed elections.
Working together under the Oregon Business Plan, the Alliance and partner business associations have developed a framework for addressing the state budget shortfall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Alliance came to an agreement with one of its longstanding partners, Portland State University, on the withdrawal of the proposed PSU payroll tax.
Yesterday, Oregon’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) released a report on Initiative Proposal 28 (IP 28).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Alliance submitted comments regarding the need for either significant reconstruction or replacement of the Portland Building.
While the Alliance supports TriMet’s cost efficiency measures and the importance of increasing transit service, especially to employment centers, it raised concerns about the substantial increase, which can be significant for many employers.
The payroll tax already provides about 60 percent of TriMet’s operating revenue. The Alliance supports TriMet’s cost efficiency measures and the importance of increasing transit service, especially to employment centers.