Advocacy Goals and Achievements

Advocacy Goals and Achievements for a Positive Impact on Oregon's Hospitality Industry

  • Providing opportunity for industry members to network and share ideas about compliance, operations and best practices
  • Striving to represent our industry before the Oregon Legislature, regulatory agencies and local government entities around the state
  • Fighting to keep and restore local tourism dollars in cities and counties throughout Oregon
  • Monitoring Oregon’s annual legislative session in Salem and tracking proposed laws both specific to our industry and to Oregon businesses in general
  • Continuing a longstanding legal battle against the US Department of Labor at the District Court level on Tip Pooling
  • Working to keep tourism promotion dollars and promotional funding for film and television production in Oregon, spurring economic development in local communities and strengthening Oregon’s tourism brand
  • Participating in a coalition of pro-business groups and trade associations – a diverse group that envisions growth and success for Oregon companies and employees
  • Supporting lawmakers and candidates for public office through ORLAPAC – a political action committee that provides financial support in upcoming campaigns in an effort to assure business-friendly representatives are elected to office
  • Traveling with an assemblage of industry members to Washington, DC annually to meet with Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to discuss issues of importance on the national level

2015 Legislative Session Recap

TWO-YEAR MORATORIUM ON LOCAL LABOR LAWS (Passed SB 968) 
  • Established a two-year moratorium on local governmental authorities’ ability to enact labor laws for their jurisdictions via a statewide preemption. 
  • Urban-area operators know while it is difficult to place a dollar amount on what this two-year abatement means, they understand local governments have an increased interest in regulating scheduling and hiring practices. 
MINIMUM WAGE (Stopped HB 2012 and others) 
  • There were more than a dozen versions of minimum wage increase bills stopped in the legislature this year. 
  • The last version submitted in the House would have increased the minimum wage to $13 an hour. PAID SICK LEAVE (Mitigated SB 454) 
  • SB 454 was originally set to require 56 hours per year in paid sick time, but was reduced to 40 hours annually – cutting the requirement by 16 hours per employee per year. 
WORKERS COMPENSATION (Mitigated HB 2764) 
  • HB 2764 was originally submitted as a “technical fix” bill for the Oregon workers’ comp structure. The Management-Labor Advisory Committee (MLAC) watchdog group that oversees the system had specific language in the bill, but the version the House of Representatives passed did not include that language. This move would have awarded additional attorney fees as requested by Oregon Trial Lawyers. 
  • Business groups, including ORLA, asked the Senate to reinsert the language to agree with the MLAC amendments. 
LOTTERY CASINO LABEL (Stopped HB 3316) 
  • HB 3316 would have designated an establishment of lottery to be a casino if 50 percent or more of their annual net income was derived from lottery. This in turn would cause retailers to lose their lottery contract. 
  • Forcing lottery retail operations to list their lottery and other revenue as separate line items would put a majority of retailers out of compliance and facing reduced revenues. The State of Oregon too would have lost money for important programs. 
AUDITS FOR UNUSED GIFT CARDS (Stopped HB 2543) 
  • HB 2543 would have established a process for businesses to be audited on unredeemed gift cards or electronic customer balances, and deemed that they are abandoned property in the eyes of the State. 
  • Establishments would have been required to pay the State the amount of their unused gift card totals. 
REMOVES 70% FOR TOURISM PROMOTION (Stopped HB 2133) 
  • HB 2133 would have removed the protection that 70 percent of net revenue from new or increased lodging tax be used for tourism or tourism-related facilities. This move would have allowed local governments to redirect tourism dollars to their general fund.
  • While Oregon does benefit from a statewide Tourism Commission in Travel Oregon, most of the tourism promotion dollars come from local areas or regional marketing organizations and convention and visitor bureaus. Those funds have specific protections in place so that the money collected from tourists is reinvested in tourism promotion and economic development. 
FILM & VIDEO TAX CREDIT (Passed 2171) 
  • HB 2171 provided a six-year extension of the Oregon Film and Video Tax Credit, which has a strong and direct benefit to the statewide and local economy. 
  • This continuation protects the film production labor rebate, as well as provides reimbursements to local filmmakers. Oregon’s recognition in this industry continues to grow, and ORLA will keep working to ensure the benefit is sustained for regional tourism and economic development.

2013 Legislative Session Recap

PAID SICK LEAVE (Stopped HB 3390)
  • Would have created a statewide mandate for employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave to employees for every 30 hours worked for a total of 40 hours annually.
  • Annual savings based on one to three percent of annual payroll.
  • $3,800 savings per establishment 
SODA TAX (Stopped HB 2331)
  • Would have created a tax on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages around the state
  • Annual savings based on Washington State syrup tax
  • $3,500 savings per establishment 

BEER TAX (Stopped HB 2906)
  • Would have implemented a beer tax and given a small portion of the revenue to addiction treatment and prevention programs.
  • Annual savings based on 700 percent increase in beer tax.
  • $1,855 savings per establishment 

PAYROLL TAX (Stopped HB 2630)
  • Would have established the Oregon Health Care Payroll Tax dedicated to funding the Oregon Health Plan.
  • Annual savings  based on one to three percent of annual payroll
  • $3,800 savings per establishment 

18% LOTTERY RETAILER COMMISSION RATES (Stopped HB 3215)
  • Would have created a two-tier rate structure for a small amount of proceeds at 33 percent for the first $30,000 in sales, and then set an abrupt drop to 18 percent for all sales over $30,000.
  • Annual savings based on 20 percent drop in blended commission rate.
  • $14,000 savings per establishment 

BIODIESEL TAX CREDIT (Passed HB 2435)
  • Exempts diesel fuel blended with at least 20 percent biodiesel from the fuel tax when used in vehicles below 26,000 lbs. for six years beginning January 1, 2014.
  • Each establishment generates about 40 gallons a month and this calculation is based on the price of used cooking oil.
  • $24 additional revenue per establishment

SUPPORTING ADDITIONAL TOURISM PROMOTION

FILM AND VIDEO TAX CREDIT (Passed HB 3367)
  • Increased the film production labor rebate and tax credits to certified film production development contribution. Also provides reimbursements to local filmmakers.
  • Raises the tax credits from $6 million to $10 million per biennium.
  • $160 million in direct spending 

COLLECTION OF LODGING TAXES FOR TOURISM  (Passed HB 2656)
  • Clarified how lodging taxes should be collected from lodging sales across the state, and establishes some uniformity on these collections.
  • Projected to raise $6 million annually for tourism promotion.
  • $60 million in direct spending