2016 Legislative Agenda

2016 Legislative Agenda

Legislative Priorities - State

Employer Issues

Small business pays the largest price when the state mandates pay and benefits.  These mandates take away Oregon’s competitive advantage across the nation and stifles business growth and expansion, negatively impacting our local economy.  Key areas of focus in this area are:

Control Minimum Wage Growth- Currently Oregon’s minimum wage is tied to the CPI and increased to $9.25 in 2015.  Oregon’s minimum wage is ranked 2nd highest in the nation.  A $15/hour minimum wage increase would impede job creation and growth, cost us at least 60,000 jobs and could have the unintended effect of reducing overall benefit packages as businesses are required to increase wages in all segments of their workforce.  Small business will not have the ability to absorb these increases.  Increased costs of goods and services will impact seniors and those on a fixed income.  Increases in minimum wage will impact both education and non-profit sectors with an increase in cost, resulting in reduced services. 

Oppose Mandatory Sick Leave - Mandatory sick leave legislation was passed in 2015 impacting any business with employee 10 or more employees.  Rule making by BOLI went beyond the legislative intent of the measure passed.  BOLI is now being directed to reopen it’s rule making so that businesses that already provide sick leave that meets the minimums required, don’t need to modify their plans. Mandating additional employee benefits will require small businesses to manage growth differently and may result in the decrease of other benefits offered.  Employers should be allowed the freedom to offer the benefits their employees value most.  Mandated benefits remove the opportunity for small businesses to personalize their benefits offerings for their own workforce.

Tax Issues/Reforms

In keeping with these two guidelines from above

  • The use of taxes should be fair and equitable in providing services and programs that benefit the economic growth and the health and welfare of citizens.
  • As a general rule, overall government expenditures should not grow at rates greater than populations and inflation, or rates exceeding growth in income.

Oppose IP 28 Gross Receipts Tax. Under IP28, all C-corporations with Oregon sales exceeding $25 million would be subject to a new minimum tax rate of $30,001, plus 2.5% of gross Oregon sales over $25 million annually. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office, IP28 is estimated to increase taxes on companies doing business in Oregon by an additional $5.3 billion per two-year budget cycle, making this the largest tax increase in state history.  That’s nearly five times what they currently pay in excise and income taxes. And when compared to the state’s current General Fund budget of $18 billion, IP28 represents an almost 30% increase – the largest tax increase in state history.

IP28 would make Oregon one of the most difficult states in the country to do business – and could drive companies with narrow profit margins into the red, out of the state, or out of business. It would particularly hurt startup companies – such as those in the software sector – that typically don’t see profits for their first several years. These companies are among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, and provide thousands of high-paying jobs. IP28 threatens to derail Oregon’s ongoing economic recovery and would make local Oregon businesses less competitive.

While the stated purpose behind the initiative is to increase funding for schools and services, the money raised from this tax would go into the General Fund meaning there would be no guarantee how the money would be spent, or if the money would go to public services or education.

See http://www.tigardchamber.org/sites/default/files/IP28_Facts.pdf  for more info.

Transportation

The importance of securing adequate funding from the State and Federal Legislature to continue to improve, expand and enhance our transportation system in and around Tigard and Southwest Metro cannot be overstated.  Transportation infrastructure is the lifeblood of commerce as it moves goods, services and people to and from employment, from suppliers to manufactures to retailers to consumers,  students to education and more.  All impact our economy and economic growth. 

Tigard and the SW Corridor needs reliable, efficient, safe transportation infrastructure that can handle our current population/usage, our forecasted growth and maintains our Oregon quality of life.  Multiple modes need to considered, planned for and integrated.  Change is inevitable, we need to manage the change for healthy, thriving communities and robust economic growth.

The projects listed below are considered high priorities for the Tigard Business community and will need significant financial support from the state and possible federal levels.

  • SW Corridor Project
  • North Main Street Improvement
  • SW Hall Boulevard – Burnham Street to Durham Road.

Legislative Priorities - Local

Transportation – Support projects and initiatives that improve overall transportation infrastructure within Tigards’ areas of commerce including the Tigard Triangle, Pacific Highway and Downtown Tigard including but not limited to:

  • SW Corridor Project
  • North Main Street Improvement
  • SW Hall Boulevard – Burnham Street to Durham Road
  • Improved parking access in the Downtown core

Economic Development – Support projects/organizations that stimulate revitalization and economic/business growth within the Urban Renewal District, Industrial/Mixed use zones and the Tigard Triangle as the opportunity arises including but not limited to:

  • Saxony Project Redevelopment
  • Strolling Streets
  • Ash/Burnham Development
  • Enterprise Zones
  • Hunziker Industrial Core

Environment/Sustainability – Support environmental clean-up projects within business/commercial districts that enable redevelopment as they arise.  Support parks and green spaces initiatives as they contribute to business/employee quality of life.  Including but not limited to:

  • Downtown Tigard Brownfield clean up initiatives
  • Tigard Street Trail activation and projects

Education We need a technically educated workforce exiting our education system both through secondary education and trade schools. We will support initiatives that work towards this end.

See http://www.tigard-or.gov/city_hall/CityCouncil/state_legislative_agenda.pdf for background

See http://www.tigard-or.gov/business/economic_development.php for background

See http://www.tigard-or.gov/city_hall/CityCouncil/federal_legislative_agenda.pdf for background