Shaping the future of East Metrothrough economic advocacy.
We thank you for your continued service and representation of the East Metro Region. We at the East Metro Economic Alliance request you take the following into account as the 2017 Legislative session comes to a close:
SB 828 Predictive Scheduling, the methodology expressed in this bill is flawed and will be harmful to all parties involved, employees, employers and customers. This bill, which imposes scheduling restrictions and penalties on employers in the retail, food and lodging industries, could be one of the most consequential employment-related bills to emerge from the 2017 Session. This bill adversely impacts retail, hospitality and service industry businesses and both businesses and employees should be able to adjust schedules to meet changes in supply and demand.
HB 2807 Relating to lawsuits, as currently constituted, increases the liability for hospitals in lawsuits from $500,000 to $10 Million. Couple this with hospitals being asked to take on additional costs will not only raise the cost of healthcare but also lower hospitals ability to invest in new equipment and equipment maintenance/upgrades. Our community will in turn pay more for less efficient healthcare which is why we are opposed to this bill, vehemently.
We want to implore upon you the importance of cost containment as you seek to close the $1.8 Billion budget shortfall. While there are multiple pieces of legislation that are seeking to raise state revenues, it is just as important to contain costs with We want to also implore upon you the importance of PERS Reform and Transportation Package. We have multiple school districts in our region that have passed bond measures and in order for our citizens to have their highest ROI on their investment, PERS needs to be reformed. It is not only stifling our school districts but also our cities, counties and other government entities. It is also one of the main drivers of our state budget shortfall. Another driver is the loss productivity from congestion and many transportation projects have been placed on hold because of a lack of a comprehensive state transportation package. This is becoming more of a pressing issue as more of our commercial/industrial land (TRIP, Gresham Vista, etc.) in East Metro is being acquired.
We thank you again for your service to the state and our region and we continue to be available if you have any questions.
Jarvez Hall, MBA
East Metro Economic Alliance Executive Director
We at the East Metro Economic Alliance request you take the following into account as HB3458, HB3087, HB2269, HB2019 cross your desks, committees and chambers.
HB3458 BOLI Overtime Fix
EMEA very much supports the underlying bill which fixes a negative BOLI interpretation requiring manufacturers to pay both daily and weekly overtime, which results in double overtime payments. What EMEA is not in support of is capping workweeks at 60 hours per week, which will have significant workforce implications for manufacturers, particularly those in areas with labor shortages. OSCC will oppose the bill so long as the 60-hour work week cap is contained in the bill. EMEA would like to support this bill but only if the provision capping workweeks at 60 hours is removed.
HB3087: Paid Family Leave
Paid Family Leave is not something that should be addressed in the time remaining in the session. The new paid leave program, as outlined in this bill, requires a new payroll tax on employers and a new income tax on employees, it requires a 3/5 vote of the legislature. With the minimum wage set to rise, paid sick leave underway, potential of increased taxes on employers and the raising costs of healthcare, this is not the right time to add an additional increase the costs of employment.
HB2269 Cleaner Air Oregon
HB 2269 would increase Title V and ACDP fees to fund the new DEQ 'Cleaner Air Oregon' regulatory scheme. Many local employers who won't be able to comply with the new emissions standards. EMEA supports amendments to the bill which will force DEQ to work cooperatively with the business community instead set compliance standards and timelines. A long-term collaboration between regulators and industry should be the result of this legislation.
HB 2019, which requires the public disclosure of Oregon taxes of any company that avails itself of at least $5,000 in Oregon tax credits. EMEA is opposed to this bill as it is not in good faith. It is a bill clearly meant to harass companies for whom the unions and other entities do not believe pay their "fair share." We believe this legislation is a thinly-vailed threat to the business community. We should be fostering collaboration between labor and industry and this bill can only divide.
Jarvez Hall, East Metro Economic Alliance Executive Director
PO Box 422
Gresham, OR 97030
The East Metro Economic Alliance (EMEA) is a non-profit organization comprised of area businesses, chambers of commerce, other non-profit organizations and public agencies working together to shape the future of East Metro through economic advocacy. EMEA builds consensus and promotes action on issues vital to the economic development and livability of the East Metro region including East Portland, Fairview, Gresham, Troutdale, and Wood Village.
The East Metro Economic Alliance has officially joined the Coalition to Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales. A coalition committed to defeat IP 28, an initiative proposed on the November 2016 statewide ballot. We implore or members, stakeholders and communities to join us and vote no on IP 28 come November.
IP 28 would impose more than $5 Billion in new taxes on Oregon sales of large employers and many companies doing business in our state --- the largest increase in state history.
Because the new tax would be on sales --- not profits --- companies would be required to pay the tax if they are making small profits, or even if they are losing money.
Oregon consumers, as well as small businesses, should be very concerned about this costly and damaging proposal. IP 28 would create huge new taxes on many products sold in Oregon, as well as on services provided by Oregon employers, even if those services are sold around the world.
The non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office has estimated that IP 28 would increase taxes by more than $5 Billion per two-year budget cycle – by far the largest tax increase in our state’s history.
Despite proponents’ claims, this unprecedented new tax would increase costs for working families and consumers and would hurt businesses in our state without any guarantee the money would make it into our classrooms or help our schools. That’s because all of the money from this measure goes to the General Fund with no plan and no accountability for how IP 28’s billions in new taxes would be spent.
We feel this measure is contrary to economic development and contrary to the EMEA mission of promoting economic vitality in our region.
To learn more about IP 28, click on the Recent Articles link.
To: Oregon State Legislators
From: Jarvez D. Hall, Executive Director, East Metro Economic Alliance
Date: January 29, 2016
Re: Support HB 4036 |Oregon Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan
The East Metro Economic Alliance (EMEA) is a non-profit organization comprised of area businesses, chambers of commerce, nonprofits and public entities working together to shape the future of East Metro through economic advocacy. We join other advocates, utilities, environmental groups and energy developers in supporting HB 4036 – legislation that will put Oregon on track toward meeting its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emission while maintaining our state’s high standards for electricity service.
HB 4036 would move Portland General Electric and Pacific Power off coal-generated electricity and double their renewable energy generation – all while maintaining the reliable and affordable electricity that is key to our state and local economies.
One of our goals for 2016 is to endorse and advocate for smart legislative compromises to issues of vital importance. This legislation also avoids a contentious campaign in November on a ballot measure that lacks key consumer and reliability protections and would cost PGE customers up to $360 million more than HB 4036. Environmental advocates have agreed to withdraw November ballot measure efforts if – and only if – this legislation is passed in the 2016 session and we implore you to play a role in ensuring it does. A broad coalition came together to create HB 4036 – a better, smarter approach to achieving the end goals of the proposed ballot measure. We applaud this coalition for working together for Oregon’s energy future.
HB 4036 includes several provisions that are essential to a healthy economy and environment in Oregon.
In addition, this bill reaffirms the state’s commitment to energy efficiency programs, encourages transportation electrification, and increases access to solar resources for more Oregon electricity customers, including low-income residents – all provisions that are not included in the proposed ballot measure.
We believe this smart and thoughtful policy will help Oregon maintain its national leadership in clean energy and create a healthier climate while remaining competitive in attracting quality employers and building a stronger economy. We urge your support.
A core component in economic development and a priority for East Metro Economic Alliance and its members is to continuously improve K-12 educational outcomes. Up-to-date facilities are necessary to achieve excellent educational results. The current facilities are beyond their useful lives and as a community we have an obligation to provide proper buildings for our schools. The bond measure would maintain the 2014 tax rate. We encourage our members to support ballot measure 26-164. Please join us in voting YES on Measure 26-164. For details on the measure see the Reynolds web site, http://www.reynolds.k12.or.us/reynoldsbond
HB 2652 will correct the definition of rural and urban for SIP property tax purposes, leveling the playing field between properties within the UGB prior to 2002 (east-side) and those added since 2002 (west-side).
Thank you Representatives Gorsek, Piluso, Johnson, Fagan and Vega-Pedersen.
East Metro Economic Alliance has contacted our local legislators as well as the House Committee on Revenue members in support of House Bill 2652, which would correct a longstanding error in the legislation governing the Strategic Investment Program.
EMEA is dedicated to creating a community of prosperity and economic opportunity in East County and will advocate for policies which promote that goal. The Strategic Investment Program is a critical statewide economic development tool that helps Oregon be competitive in attracting major traded-sector employers to our state. It is an important tool for East County, which has available industrial lands which could easily accommodate large traded sector employers.
Unfortunately, the current statute does not always provide for a fair and even playing field when it comes to the ability to compete for investments on the regional level. The current statute rightly contains a lower cap for rural properties. But, the statute definition of “rural” land is not based on whether it exists within the current Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), but on whether or not it did when the statute became effective in 2002. That means some land parcels, now well within the UGB, are able to offer a lower cap for property tax purposes than urban land in our area of the region. That is both unfair and unnecessary, and we support an even playing field for all urban land in the region.
EMEA reached out to our legislators in support of SB 129 which modifies Gain Share. While East Country does not currently benefit from Gain Share, we recognize the importance of programs like the Strategic Investment Program to attract businesses to the region and the need to share the costs and benefits of those programs through a reasonable Gain Share program to benefit the local region as well as the State as a whole.
EMEA supports HB 2734 which allows local governments to create land banks and offer local property tax abatements to facilitate brownfield cleanup and redevelopment.
The East Metro Economic Alliance is opposing HB 3034, as it would have a serious impact on health care, livability, and economic development for our communities.
HB 3034 removes the property tax exemption for local hospitals and hospital-owned health care facilities unless the hospital can demonstrate that it spends 15% of its revenues on charity care. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, there is no conceivable way that a hospital could spend this amount in uncompensated charity care.
The bill would burden a vital non-profit community asset – our community hospitals – with very little return for counties in tax revenue. The burden on hospitals would not be offset in any way by an associated improvement in community health or health care coverage. Local governments could spend the revenue in any manner unrelated to health care.
Business joined with hospitals and policy makers to support a total overhaul of the state’s health care delivery in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. A key reason was that it would drive down the need for charity care and its associated cost shift to small businesses that pay health insurance premiums. As the need for charity care goes down, we should not penalize hospitals for the success we all hoped for in this area by adding new taxes.
EMEA contacted our local legislators in opposition to SB 629.
SB 629, known as the Right to Rest bill has been brought to the attention of the East Metro Economic Alliance. The City of Gresham and businesses, especially in Historic Downtown Gresham, are concerned about the impact such a measure would have in attracting customers to their doors.
In particular, the definition of the term “harassment” is subjective, making it difficult for setting policies and local ordinances. Of further concern is the definition of “public spaces” including “an easement of for public use”. It could mean that site easements that frequently go across private property could be interpreted as an opportunity for public rest.
The local and county governments are very focused on connecting people to services and housing. Of course, employment opportunities are always in the forefront. SB629 does not aid in solving these issues, and places another unnecessary state law in place affecting, in particular, small storefront businesses.
Office: (503) 292-8881Fax: (503)-292-8237
PO Box 422Gresham, OR 97030
East Metro Economic Alliance is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. PO Box 422, Gresham, OR 97030