Legislative Agenda

The Hillsboro Chamber is a member-driven, business organization.  We support policies that enable our businesses to grow and prosper and we utilize our significant influence to assist in shaping policy that enhances the business climate for increased investment, high-wage job growth and a healthy community.

Comprehensive Tax Reform

If a genuine tax reform effort is undertaken by the Legislature during this session, the following elements should be thoughtfully considered as part of the package.

  • Reduce capital gains tax
  • Establish a Rainy Day Fund which will achieve revenue sustainability
  • Increase/Stimulate private investment capital

Education Reform & Funding for K-12 & Community Colleges

In order to reach the aspirational goal of 40-40-20, increased funding for K-12, community colleges and state universities will be paramount.  Funding should support initiatives that close the achievement gap and increase completion rates both to high school diplomas as well as credentials, associates degrees and higher.  Funding increases should provide for stable or decreased tuition rates system-wide.

Employment Issues

Small businesses are the hardest hit when the state mandates pay and benefit levels.  State-wide employer mandates ultimately eliminate Oregon’s competitive advantage and reduces business opportunities for expansion and job growth.

 

  •  Control Minimum Wage Increases.  Currently, the minimum wage in Oregon is tied to the CPI and will increase to $9.25 in 2015.  Oregon’s minimum wage is ranked 2nd highest in the nation.  A $15/hour minimum wage increase would impede job creation and growth and could have the unintended effect of reducing overall benefit packages as businesses are required to increase wages in all segments of their workforce.
  •  Oppose Mandatory Paid Sick Leave.  Already approved in Portland and Eugene, it is anticipated that a state-wide bill will be introduced in the 2015 Legislative Session.  Mandating additional employee benefits will require small businesses to manage growth differently and may result in the decrease of other benefits offered.  Employers should be allowed the freedom to offer the benefits their employees value most.  Mandated benefits remove the opportunity for small businesses to personalize their benefits offerings for their own workforce.

Energy Policy

The LCFS and expensive fuel mandate could increase the cost of fuel by an estimated dollar or more per gallon.  The program punishes consumers and businesses that are trying to do the right thing and have already made significant contributions to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency programs, wise choices in vehicles and adoption of alternative modes of transportation and technologies.

 

  •  Oppose state or regional carbon limits that would place Oregon at an economically competitive disadvantage.

Gain Share Fund Policy

Senate Bill 954 (2007) created a Shared Services Fund reflecting personal income taxes from eligible projects that receive property tax exemptions under Oregon’s Strategic Investment Program (SIP).

 

Support the continuation of Gain Share as approved by the 2007 Legislature with modifications approved and agreed upon by both the City of Hillsboro and Washington County.

Job Creation and Growth

Oregon is a global competitor for business.  To continue to experience expansion, retention and relocation of businesses providing high wage jobs, we must preserve business incentives like the Enterprise Zone and Strategic Investment Program that assist businesses of all sizes to invest in the expansion of their workforce and facilities.

Land Use Issues

During the 2014 Legislative Session, a Grand Bargain agreement was struck which negatively impacted Hillsboro’s industrial land supply.  Ultimately, the state will suffer by reducing business opportunities to expand and relocate.

 

  • Oppose more restrictive regional land use controls, included those related to UGB/Urban Reserves.
  • Support reforms that create more certainty for land use planning

Transportation Infrastructure Planning & Funding

The importance of securing adequate funding from the State Legislature to continue to improve, expand and enhance our transportation system in and around Hillsboro cannot be overstated.  The region’s ability to continue to accommodate economic growth and prosperity is directly tied to our transportation system and to the capacity to move goods and people efficiently.  The projects listed below are considered high priorities for the Hillsboro business community and will need significant financial support from the state.

  •  Highway 26 Expansion from 185th to Brookwood
  • Century Blvd. Expansion to North Hillsboro
  • Cornelius Pass Road transfer to ODOT
  • Transit Service—Shuttle Service or expanded service to North Hillsboro employers
  • Washington County Initiatives—Beaverton-Hillsdale; Scholls Ferry Road/Olsen Intersection; 217 Split Diamond Interchange

Thank you Chairman level sponsors

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