2015 Challenges in the Oregon Legislature

Date: August 20, 2014

A look ahead at the small-business agenda

More issues are certain to surface before the 78th assembly of the Oregon Legislature convenes in 2015, but the following in particular pose challenges for small business.

Fighting For Tax Reform That Includes Small Business
Gov. John Kitzhaber has been meeting with big business to evolve his tax reform plan for 2015, should he win re-election in November 2014. The needs and challenges of small businesses are different than those of big business. NFIB will lobby for small business’ inclusion in any plan the governor puts forward.

Defending Small Business Tax Reduction
The 7 percent tax rate secured in 2013 for small businesses came under attack in the 2014 session. We were successful in blocking any modification to this special session legislation, but there will be attempts to amend our hard-won tax victory. In 2015 we will have to defend and protect these tax reductions.

Stopping Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Although NFIB helped defeat House Bill 3390 in the last session, we fully expect mandated paid sick leave to be back with a vengeance. This is job-killing, economy-restricting and costly to small businesses. We will continue our vigilant fight to stop mandated paid sick leave in Oregon.

Thwarting Anti-Employer, Wage Theft Legislation
We successfully defeated wage-theft legislation annually in 2011 and 2013. In 2015, we will see a broad-based attack to pass a “wage theft” bill, exposing employers to significant financial and legal liability without due process. Preventing this will remain an NFIB priority in Oregon.

Preventing State Retirement Plan for the Private Sector
NFIB blocked passage of House Bill 3436 in 2013, but we can expect another attempt to establish a state-run retirement fund for the private sector in 2015. The end game of this union-supported legislation is to create mandatory employer participation. Ultimately this would create a PERS for the private sector with all administrative costs and burdens to be borne by small businesses. NFIB has been active in preventing the development of “PERS for the private sector” and we will continue this fight in 2015.

Blocking a “Tax Compliance Certificate” Requirement
In 2011 and 2013, NFIB had to defend small business against attempts to grow government bureaucracy with House Bill 2871, which would have required a “tax compliance certificate” in order for a business to secure or renew their business license(s). It remains a study bill for the purpose to enforce tax compliance, though factually 97 percent of Oregonians are tax compliant. There will be continued effort in 2015 by the Revenue Department to put this requirement into Oregon Statutes, creating a new agency for business to contend with.

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