Crunch Time for Oregon Lawmakers--and Small Businesses

Date: June 14, 2017

Dear NFIB/Oregon members,

It’s officially crunch time.

With just a few short weeks left before the Oregon Legislature is scheduled to adjourn for the year, there are still many unanswered questions – and the future of small business is still hanging in the balance. Regardless of the type of business you own, there’s bound to be an unsettled issue (or a few) that needs to find a resolution before lawmakers leave Salem and head back home to their districts.

Maybe you’re worried about regulations – Senate Bill 299 is a bill that provides much needed clarity regarding the rules that determine whether a business is subject to paying sick time to its employees, or whether the business needs only offer an unpaid benefit. The bill includes a provision specifying that small business owners and their immediate family members are exempt from the employee count for the purposes of paid sick time, regardless of how the business is structured for tax purposes. BOLI previously asserted that only sole proprietors and their family members were exempt from the definition of “employee”. Resolving this issue is a major priority for NFIB this year since 70 percent of our members have fewer than 10 employees. The threshold for employers to provide the paid benefit starts at 6 employees in Portland – and 10 employees for the rest of the state.

Maybe your issue is taxes – House Bill 2830 would enact a new gross receipts tax on Oregon businesses with more than $3 million per year, but at the same time would repeal the Small Business Pass-Through Entity tax rates for every qualifying business in the state, regardless of size. For those of you paying at the 7 percent rate today, this plan would increase your tax rate to 8.75 percent.

Maybe you have concerns about health care and its lack of affordability – House Bill 2391 creates a new 1.5% tax on health insurance premiums. Many small businesses are already struggling with increased healthcare costs – adding another layer of taxation to the insurance we buy can only exacerbate the problem.

Now is the time to contact your legislators and make sure they know where you stand! Call them, email them, or come to Salem and tell them in person. For more information about how to contact them directly, you can visit www.oregonlegislature.gov.

Thank you for standing up for your small business!

 

Anthony K. Smith

Oregon State Director

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