Legislature Adjourns Disorderly 2023 Session

Date: June 26, 2023

NFIB helps achieve two big tax victories for small business

State Director Anthony Smith reports from Salem on the small-business agenda at the end of the 2023 session.

Sunday, June 25, was Day 160 of the 2023 regular session of the 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly, and I’m pleased to report that the Legislature has adjourned sine die.

You can expect to see a full post-session report within the next week or two, but for now, I just want to express my thanks to everyone who reads these updates. From our Oregon Leadership Council members to all the NFIB staff involved in making our state program a success, we couldn’t do this important work without your support!

Small business finished the session incredibly strong. We passed two important tax bills – HB 2083, which extends Oregon’s state and local tax (SALT) cap workaround program through the end of 2025 (when the federal limitation on the SALT deduction expires), and SB 498, which creates a $15 million estate tax exemption for business owners engaged in farming, fishing, and forestry. For the thousands of small businesses impacted by these policies, this means major tax savings. The best part is we were able to get these bills across the finish line without any offsetting tax increases – no easy feat in the Oregon Legislature!

Unfortunately, SB 1089, the Universal Health Care Governance Board bill highlighted in the last update, is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Tina Kotek. At best, this bill will cost taxpayers about $2 million over the next biennium to find out that a government-run, single payer healthcare system isn’t a viable option for one state to try on its own. At worst, it sets us up for a future legislative session where we’ll have to fight against the largest tax increase in Oregon history (by far!) to pay for it.

In a surprise finish, the insurance bills also mentioned in the prior update failed spectacularly in the final days of the session. First, HB 3243, which would have added insurance to the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) was referred back to committee when it came up for a final vote in the Senate – killing the bill. Then HB 3242, which would have created a new private right of action against insurance companies (and likely higher insurance rates for customers), passed in the Senate. But the House then voted to reject the Senate amendments, sending the bill to a conference committee. When the final version of the bill came back out of committee, the Senate voted it down, keeping Oregon insurance rates safe for now. Our strong coalition will have to be ready again when these concepts come back in 2024.

A fuller report to come soon.

Previous Bi-Monthly Reports and Related Information

Photo snip courtesy of the Oregon State Legislature website


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