Category Archives: News

Revenue is a Focus in State Capitol for the 2019 Session

Our OSCC lobbyists are at work analyzing the 1,500 bills that have been introduced to date in the state legislature.

Here’s a list of major revenue-related proposals that are drawing attention in Salem.

Gross receipts tax (GRT): Despite voters’ overwhelming rejection of Measure 97 in 2016, this concept remains a favorite of some influential legislators. Portland voters approved a citywide gross receipts tax on large businesses in November. The existence of a GRT in Portland will give proponents a toehold to push for a similar approach statewide. However, a GRT remains a particularly difficult tax for low-margin businesses, regardless of size.

Business activities tax: The Oregon Business Plan has floated a business activities tax (BAT) as an alternative to a GRT. The BAT, used in Washington, does not create the same concerns about pyramiding (being applied multiple times in the supply chain) as the GRT. However, it still would raise business costs and, depending on details of a specific proposal, could affect some businesses more than others.

Corporate tax rates: If neither of those ideas gathers support of 60 percent of both chambers, the Legislature could default to keeping the current tax structure and increasing the corporate tax rate. Meanwhile, the Governor’s budget proposes an increase in the corporate minimum tax.

Small-business taxes: Small businesses have been in the crosshairs of revenue hunters in the Legislature for the past two sessions. In 2017, the House voted to roll back portions of the small-business tax deal that were part of the 2013 “grand bargain,” but the bill failed in the Senate. In the 2018 short session, the Legislature disconnected from a portion of the new federal tax law that benefited small business. Senators Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) and Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) have sued, contending that legislation violates the state Constitution. Meanwhile, Governor Brown, who is named in the lawsuit, has proposed more rollbacks of small-business tax benefits – trimming a tax break that passed in the 2018 session with her support.

Other business taxes and fees: The long list of legislative concept drafts presented in the House Revenue Committee last week during Legislative Days includes an assortment of technical tax adjustments that would increase taxes paid by businesses. Also, some tax credits could be eliminated through the tax credit review process.

Kicker reform: The idea of ending or diverting the “kicker,” which returns money to individual taxpayers when revenues exceed state economists’ projections by more than 2 percent, has been kicked around for years. In 2012, Oregonians voted to designate the corporate kicker for education funding. Now, similar proposals to use the personal kicker for targeted uses such as PERS or education, have support. Kicker reform is one revenue option included in the latest version of the Oregon Business Plan, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Property taxes: The discussion about reforming Oregon’s property tax system has amplified in recent months. The goal would be to eliminate inequities that lead to landowners with similar properties paying differing rates. Even by revenue reform standards, this would be a complicated process, and, therefore, is less likely than some of the other revenue proposals. However, targeted bills aimed at businesses’ property taxes could gain traction. For example, one bill would limit the property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals to the amount spent on charitable care, reduced by the sum of all amounts of compensation reported in excess of $1 million for any individual directors or employees.

Alcohol and tobacco taxes: Increasing tobacco taxes is a common revenue proposal, one that is included in the Governor’s budget. Although the Governor has backed off of talk of a higher beer and wine taxes, her budget does propose increasing alcohol costs another way – by increasing the markup on liquor at state stores by 5 percent.

Medicaid taxes: The Governor’s budget proposes a mix of taxes and fees to make up for a projected shortfall in Medicaid funding. The money would come from: increased hospital taxes, expanded taxation of health insurance plans, higher cigarette taxes and an assessment on businesses with a large share of employees who qualify for Medicaid.

Transportation taxes: The 2017 Legislature passed a transportation package, and taxes to pay for improvements are beginning to kick in. These include increases in gas taxes, higher registration and title fees, a 0.1 percent payroll tax, a bicycle excise tax, and in 2020 a new way of treating vehicle fees based on miles per gallon.

Carbon taxes: Representatives of the Governor’s office presented a carbon-price proposal to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction during Legislative Days last week. The model being discussed is a cap-and-trade system. Dozens of decisions remain that will determine the cost of this program to businesses, but under any scenario there will be significant costs. The question, is which businesses and consumers will pay, and how much. If a cap-and-trade bill passes, higher fuel and energy costs are all but certain.

As you can see, raising revenue will be one of the dominant themes of the 2019 Session.

We will keep members apprised as the discussions roll out.

2019 Business Advocacy Agenda

The Tigard Chamber Board of Directors has approved the Tigard Chamber 2019 Business Advocacy Agenda. 

Focus areas for the 2019 Business Advocacy Agenda include:

  • Transportation
  • Workforce Housing
  • Behavioral Health Programs and Homelessness Prevention
  • Environment/Sustainability including Energy
  • Education
  • Economic Development
  • Employer Issues
  • Tax Issues/Reforms

You can access the 2019 Business Advocacy Agenda here

Now Accepting 2019 Tigard Chamber Scholarship Applications

Tigard, OR – The Tigard Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the application process for the 2019 high school senior scholarships is now open! The Chamber will provide three scholarships in the amount of $1000 each to graduating seniors that will be continuing their education at either a trade school, professional training, two year college or 4 year college. These scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of Pride Disposal, over 80 Tigard Chamber Members and other sponsors.

To be eligible to apply, students must live in or attend school in the 97223 or 97224 zip codes. They must also be planning to pursue a career in the fields of business, the trades, or non-profit work. The committee will be looking for students that have demonstrated participation in extra curricular activities and/or after school employment and has a GPA of 2.5 or above.

Students wishing to apply for the scholarship must fill out the scholarship application and provide an unofficial transcript that goes through Junior Year. They will also need to submit a one page essay that is 250 words or less on a goal they are passionate about.

In addition, two letters of recommendation from teachers, club advisors, or employers will need to be provided. For a complete copy of the scholarship application, check with your high school career center/ guidance counselor or visit the Tigard Chamber of Commerce website at www.TigardChamber.org. For questions, please contact the chamber office at (503)-639-1656.

Completed applications are due in the Tigard Chamber office (12345 SW Main Street Tigard, OR 97223) by 4:00 pm on March 1, 2019 or postmarked or emailed by that date.

The scholarship award winners will receive a phone call informing them of their award. They will also formally receive their scholarship award at the 45th Annual Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala. This event will be held on Friday, May 3, 2019 from 5 to 9 PM at Embassy Suites Hotel – Washington Square, our event location host. With a theme of travel, this elegant themed event includes a silent auction, dinner, dessert dash, awards and more.

For further details about the Tigard Shining Stars Community Awards Gala, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at Jessica@tigardchamber.org, or go to our website at www.Tigardchamber.org.


About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce

A vibrant, supportive, interconnected business community where strength through collaboration and power through partnership. Build Business. Growing Together.

Tigard Chamber of Commerce Endorses Candidates for November 2018 General Election

August 30th, 2018 – For Immediate Release
Contact Information:

Debi Mollahan                       Megan De Salvo                 Tim McBratney 

CEO                                         Board Chair                        CEC Chair

503-639-1656                          503-567-7343                     503-789-4515

Debi@TigardChamber.org     Megan@edge-one.com    Tim.McBratney@pacresmortgage.com

Tigard Chamber of Commerce Endorses Candidates for November 2018 General Election

(Tigard, Oregon) – The Candidate Endorsement Committee (CEC) of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce, launched earlier this month, has determined its list of endorsements for the upcoming Tigard City Council and Mayor race in the 2018 General Election. The Committee consisting of local business owners, community leaders, and members of the Chamber Board of Directors came together to go through a non-partisan process to consider candidates for endorsement who align with the Chambers’ core values/mission, legislative agenda and who support public policy that strengthens the business community and free enterprise system.

“This is a historic time for our Chamber” said Debi Mollahan CEO of the Tigard Chamber. “These decisions, while never easy, need to be made in order to move forward in the best direction for Tigard businesses. We looked for candidates who support collaborative, open communication and problem solving between business and government.  We recognize how challenging running for public office can be and appreciate the drive exhibited by all the candidates.” said Tim McBratney Candidate Endorsement Committee Chair.

The Candidate Endorsement Committee for the Tigard Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their unanimous endorsement of the following candidates for the 2018 General Election held November 6th 2018.

Tigard City Council: John Goodhouse

John Goodhouse has been a member of the Tigard City Council since 2014 and is seeking his second term. He works as an independent insurance agent and owns his own company.  John believes Tigard citizens need a voice that represents them, they need to feel heard and have a representative who listens and responds. Owning his own company, John uniquely understands the challenges small businesses face and will bring that perspective to the table. John has proven he can be that person who can build that bridge of communication with the citizens of Tigard.

Tigard City Council: Liz Newton

Liz Newton is currently a member of the Tigard Budget Committee and worked for the City of Tigard for 37 years, serving as Assistant City Manager from 2005 until her retirement in 2017. Liz has been an enthusiastic member of the Tigard community for more than 38 years. Her nearly 37-year career working for the city allowed her to do what she enjoys most – engage with Tigard residents, business owners, regional partners, nonprofits and elected representatives.

Liz knows that business wants a safe community including quick police response and that partnering with business organizations helps steer successful business improvements in key areas of the city. Liz listens to concerns, finds solutions and provides understandable answers.  We believe this will serve our business community well.

Tigard Mayor: Jason Snider

Council President Snider moved to Tigard in 1999 and began his full-time career as clinical manager at American Medical Response from 1999 to 2003. In 2003 to the present, he has been employed in a number of management roles at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and is currently the administrator of the Regional General Surgery and Plastic Surgery Departments.  Prior to these larger company roles, Jason has also owned his own small businesses, giving him the ability to understand the challenges that businesses both large and small face. 

Jason began public service early in life, working as an Emergency Medical Technician his senior year of high school and served two years on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Board during his junior and senior years in high school.  In the Tigard community, Jason has volunteered by coaching 8 teams for Tigard Youth Soccer and Tigard Youth Football.  He also volunteered as a Tigard Reserve Police Officer from 2001 to 2004 and was a member and Chair of the City of Tigard Budget Committee from May 2005 until December 2009 prior to his service on City Council. 

Jason was elected to Tigard City Council in 2013 and was re-elected in 2017.  In 2015 he was voted to serve as Council President a role he currently holds.  Jason’s has a very good understanding of the City’s financials and its challenges, is measured in his approach and very practical.  All crucial skills in both helping guide City staff during this challenging time as well as problem solving with business.

“We greatly appreciate all of the candidates that took the time to go through our confidential in-depth questionnaire and took time out of their busy schedules for our in-person interviews” said Megan De Salvo Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Committee and Chamber agree that voters need to do their due diligence and cast their votes this November.    

About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce

The Tigard Chamber (TCC) enables and equips your business to be more nimble, reach farther, grow faster and stay ahead of the competition. Our member businesses that are part of the Tigard Chamber, not only leverage each other, but each of these members’ connections and knowledge, as well. It is exponential. Have a business challenge, question or idea? You are not alone as part of the Tigard Chamber. The TCC provides for its members: Business Advocacy, Connections & Credibility, Learning, and Community Involvement.  Learn more at www.tigardchamber.org