Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) provides us with regular advocacy updates:
The special session only took one day.
House Bill 4301 – the Governor’s bill to allow sole proprietors to take advantage of Oregon’s lower tax rates for pass-through businesses – passed the House 51-8 and passed the Senate 18-12. No other bills were considered.
The session was largely viewed as an election year gambit to atone for raising taxes on small businesses in the February 2018 session.
Although the bill was introduced to help small sole proprietors, the business community remained neutral. There was no outright business support for the bill. Why? Because HB 4301 was seen as little more than a small consolation prize for the legislature and Governor passing SB 1528 just two months ago which denied over $200 million per year in tax relief to Oregon’s small businesses. In contrast, HB 4301 only represented an $11 million per year tax cut.
Business organizations were also guarding against potential amendments to HB 4301 that might further increase taxes on some small businesses, but that didn’t happen.
There was plenty of intrigue leading up to this week about whether or not Republicans would obstruct the session or Democrats could even find the votes to pass the bill against the wishes of their public employee union allies. But despite all the rhetorical fireworks on the House and Senate floors, the votes seamlessly fell into place.
The special session is now over, and sole proprietors (with 1,200 employee hours) can now take advantage of Oregon’s lower tax rates for pass-through businesses.