Advocacy Update 3-8-21

Business Oregon has opened a Commercial Rent Relief Grant Program as of today.  This program is targeted at tenants/landlords that have rent in arrears.  Landlord applies, but tenant must also provide information.  Check last Friday’s email for details.

State Legislature

Bills continue to move to committee in the Oregon Legislature.  Bills of focus for business this week are:

SB 330 – Senator Besty Johnson is the sponsor.  This would give landlords tax credits for forgiven rents.  Can improve tenant/landlord relationships.  Forgiven rent can be amortized over 5 years.  This would be a good thing for business

HB 2674 – Impacts use of fossil fuels, diesel and natural gas. Is an attempt to levy a tax on these items used by many of our core businesses in Oregon.

HB 2814 – Indirect Source Review from DEQ.  Is an attempt to regulate construction for facilities that have a relationship to greenhouses gases.  Think of a parking structure.  DEQ has already rejected this concept.

HB 3296 – Beer and Wine Tax increases.  Increases beer tax by 2700%, barrel tax would go from $2.66/barrel to $72/barrel as an example.  Concern that our already hammered hospitality and restaurant, bar businesses can not handle a tax while in recovery from COVID.

State revenue forecast shows an addition $750M in revenue for this biennium above the budget.  Has triggered the kicker.  Kicker is now projected at $571M.

Federal Legislature

At a Federal level, the US Chamber focus has been on the Stimulus package going through Congress.   is urging Congress to extend the ability to issue new PPP loans from March 31st to December 31st.  600 Chambers signed on to this letter.

Part of the federal stimulus package under consideration includes a separate grant program for restaurants and caterers.  Congress is delegating a lot of the program details to the SBA on how that grant program will work and eligibility requirements.

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