This week marks the end of week 14 of the Legislative Session. Below is a review of the week.
SB 936 – Strategic Investment Program
The committee on Finance and Revenue held a public hearing on Senate Bill (SB) 936. SB 936, introduced at the request of AOC, raises the capped amount of taxable investment in rural SIP projects, and caps the community service fees at $2.5 million for both rural and urban investment projects. Senator Johnson testified that the bill was proposed because counties and rural areas were seeing significant investment that was beyond what the original bill contemplated. Doris Penwell testified on behalf of the Association of Oregon Counties. View AOC testimony. Action: No Action.
HB 3213 – Broadband Technology
The Senate Committee on General Government Accountability held a work session on House Bill (HB) 3213. HB 3213 requires the Oregon Broadband Counsel to add an item regarding “the role of broadband technology in local, state, and regional economies and economic development” to its annual report. Sponsor, Representative Nathanson, hopes this inclusion will continue to spur the discussion and value of broadband. Action: Bill sent to the floor with a do-pass recommendation, Senator Riley will carry.
SB 333A – Oregon Industrial Site Readiness Program
The Senate Finance and Revenue Committee held a public hearing on SB 333, which makes changes to the relationships between state, county/city and eligible businesses, and reduces payment from the fund to one year from five years. Metro described the bill as a technical fix, to update 2013 legislation, which was intended to incentivize the preparation of industrial land for further development. The bill removes the requirement that the sponsor have a contract with the industry locating on the site and removes reporting requirement from the industry on the amount of taxes paid by employees. It provides for the distribution of personal income tax revenue from the general fund to the local government sponsor after one year.
The Industrial Site Readiness Program is an economic incentive for local governments to build infrastructure for traded-sector industries by providing half of income tax revenue attributable to the businesses that locate on site back to local government sponsors. This can be up to the full cost of providing the infrastructure or half of the cost of providing the infrastructure if a loan is issued to the sponsor. Currently, income tax revenues are redistributed to the sponsor after five years of industry operation. The measure would change this waiting period to one year.
The Oregon Economic Development Association supports the bill and agreed these are minor technical changes. The Port of Portland echoed these sentiments and is working on an amendment with Oregon Employment Department regarding the threshold numbers. Senator Boquist asked why the wage was the lesser of 150 percent of average county wages or average state wages. Metro was unsure why that was the case, but believed it was merely a carry‑over from 2013 that could be amended. Senator Riley expressed concern that companies would flee early if the payout was reduced from five years to one year. Action: No Action
Contributed by: Amanda Dalton | AOC Consultant