Daily Archives: February 11, 2010

Suffocated: Plastic Bag Ban

Please note the work we did on this at the git go on the air and on the blog. Senator Mark Hass has been embarrassed by his ignorance on this subject and has apparently said, “No, mas!” on the plastic bag ban. See previous post here. See our friends over at SavethePlasticBag.com here for ALLLLLLL the reasons why this ban was so stupid.
Own it, Mark.


Shame on you, Jason Atkinson, for co sponsoring this oookity bill.

The Democrats have made a disgrace of this “emergency” session.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Look For Your "Endangered Species Condom"

Where else but from wacko environmentalists could you expect to receive a “free condom” that is “designed to capture peoples’ attention, get them laughing, and get them talking about the impact of overpopulation on our small and fragile planet.”

Beginning Valentine’s Day, Volunteers will hand them out at “bars, health centers, schools and other venues across the nation.”

While it may seem like a novel approach on the surface, the potential environmental impact of 500,000 of these being freely passed out and most likely improperly disposed of seems to have not been taken into consideration.

Green Contraception is here!

H/T The Zero

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Thursday Free For All: Tri Met’s Market Share is the Same Today as in 1988

Questions to consider:

  • Can we afford extravagant light rail systems if we’re not increasing market share?
  • Buses are more flexible, so why more light rail?
  • If WES is a huge net drag on the system, why do we continue to run it?
  • How do you justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new rail lines amid fiscal emergency?
  • If the mandate of Tri Met is to move the most folks around, then why fewer, more flexible buses and more, inflexible light rail?
  • If the mandate exists (see above) then why is Tri Met’s answer to budget holes to CUT OFF buses?
  • Is there a point where Tri Met needs to stop expanding?
  • Do we have enough money for the increased maintenance costs of all this new light rail?
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Oregon Democrats’ Massachusetts Moment?

The Democrats say they won’t go after the kicker this session or this year. They’ve already raised taxes spectacularly, but they probably looked at the latest polling and their email in boxes and saw—job losses, disaffection, businesses leaving. From the Zero today:

Courtney and other legislative leaders said the bitter fight over Measures 66 and 67 – which raised taxes on corporations and higher-income households – so polarized the state that the climate was all wrong to take on the kicker.  In one way or another, Courtney and House Speaker Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, have been saying this since the Jan. 26 tax election.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

M 66 & 67 Fall Out: House Speaker Dave Hunt Blames REPUBLICANS!

Note: Hear interviews with some of the business owners impacted by M 66 & 67. Here.
Hear the interview with the official from the state of Nevada coming to Oregon in about ten days to scoop up some companies. Here.
See blog posts on M 66 & 67 here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. The Hunt responses are wonderfully out of touch, snarky, and defensive. This is not what we expect from our public servants. Also, we don’t expect them to give taxpayers a homework assignment, either. In the final email Hunt also tries TO BLAME THE REPUBLICANS FOR MEASURES 66 & 67, claiming they authored them! I double checked with the Republican caucus and here’s what their spokesperson told me:

In 2007 House Republicans proposed a sliding-scale corporate minimum tax, however, it was one piece of a package that included significant reductions in capital gains and estate taxes that are currently among the highest in the nation. In addition, the package included a Rainy Day Fund proposal that did not touch the kicker. After proposing the tax, we discussed it with the business community, learned it was a horrible idea, and quickly took it off the table. To say that we “suggested” a gross receipts tax is misleading at best. It was very bad policy in 2007, and it’s just as bad now.

From: Mark D. **********

Sent: Friday, January 29, 2010 12:46 PM
To: Rep Hunt; Sen Courtney
Cc: VICTORIA@VICTORIATAFT.COM;
Subject: Layoffs > Due to Measure 67

Dear Speakers Hunt and Courtney:

Because of the “Anti-Business” attitude in Salem, my business as a C-Corp will see our tax liability TRIPLE due to the passage of Measure 67.  Oh wait, that was for 2009, because in 2010 [we] would have had no tax liability due to being unprofitable for the 2010 tax year.

We just reduced our labor force 10% (~2 FTE), so that [we] can pay the Measure 67 taxes due and attempt to reach breakeven.

 Since you stated in a recent TV interview, that the passage of Measure 67 would not affect the middle class.  What do I tell the employee’s (Average Salary of $42K plus 100% health care coverage), whose hours are being reduced from 40/wk to 35/wk, that don’t worry Measure 67 won’t affect you.  I am sure they will understand when their paycheck is 10% smaller! 

Mark T*******

Small Business Owner struggling to support 16 Living Wage Jobs

Hunt responds to the business owner by giving him a homework assignment with a little snark on the side:

From: Rep Hunt [mailto:hunt.rep@state.or.us]
Sent: Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:33 AM
To: Mark D. *******
Subject: RE: Layoffs > Due to Measure 67


 Mr. T*********:

Exactly how much more will be you paying in corporate taxes? 

 Even after the passage of Measures 66 & 67, Oregon will have the LOWEST corporate tax rates on the West Coast and the fifth LOWEST in America.  Now we can prevent further cuts to the schools, community colleges, universities, workforce development, transportation, public safety, and courts on which Oregon businesses depend. 

It will also enable our February legislative session to stay focused on job creation (continuing the job-creating laws we passed last year on transportation, health care, affordable housing, renewable energy, capital construction, etc.) and helping Oregon families who have been hit particularly hard by this global recession — rather than piling on additional cuts in critical services.

Thank you for sharing your perspective.  I look forward to hearing back from you about the specifics of your new taxes.

 Dave Hunt

State Representative

Speaker of the House

From: Mark D. T*********

Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 2:19 PM
To: Rep Hunt
Cc: victoriataft@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: Layoffs > Due to Measure 67

Speaker Hunt,

Sorry for the delay, but I have been busy with the extra workload due to the 2 FTE layoffs that I had to do because of M66/67 and the slow economy.  You asked me to provide some specific information, so after meeting with our CPA last Friday this is the anticipated negative effect of Measure 67 on (C-Corp):

                        1.       For tax year 2009 (my Fiscal Year Jun09-May10)…………PRIOR to Measure 67

a.   Gross Sales        $ 5,400,000          Projected sales based on 8/12 of FY2010…….down 28% from the previous tax year.

b.     Net Loss                  < $     50,000 >         Haven’t been profitable yet this FY (8 months > Jun09-Jan10)

c.       Taxes refund          < $          800  >       refund of ~25% of state taxes paid in 2008 when we were profitable (Loss carry forward accounting rules).


2.       For tax year 2009 (our Fiscal Year Jun09-May10)…………UNDER MEASURE 67

a.       Gross Sales        $ 5,400,000          Projected sales based on 8/12 of FY2010…….down 28% from the previous tax year.

b.      Net Loss                  < $     50,000 >         Haven’t been profitable yet this FY (8 months > Jun09-Jan10)

c.       Taxes due                   $       4,000            Based on schedule listed in Measure 67 for tax year 2009

 Instead of getting a refund (Approx $800), I will owe the State of Oregon almost $4000, even though we lost money……our tax liability actually increase SIX-FOLD!!

 In my opinion The State of Oregon doesn’t have a revenue issue, it has a SPENDING issue.  If you like to hear from a “Typical Oregon Small Business Owner”, I would be willing to drive to Salem to discuss this issue with you personally…

 Mark T********

Hunt sarcastically responds:

From: Rep Hunt [mailto:hunt.rep@state.or.us]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 10:28 PM
To: Mark D. T*********
Subject: RE: Layoffs > Due to Measure 67

 Thanks for that additional information.  I am surprised that a potential $4,000 tax bill would require you to lay off 2 FTE employees.  By my math, those two FTE must have been making less than $1 per hour.

 If you don’t like the Gross Oregon Sales basis for the new corporate minimum tax, then I suggest that you share you concerns with the Oregon Business Association (OBA), Oregon Small Businesses for Responsible Leadership (OSBRL), and the Oregon House Republican Caucus who all suggested it.  Democratic leaders actually preferred a Valued Added basis that would have been fairer to high volume, low margin businesses, but that was rejected by all 20 major business groups in Oregon.

 Rep. Dave Hunt

RE: Layoffs > Due to Measure 67

Thu, February 11, 2010 9:07:10 AM

From:

Mark D. T*********

View Contact

To:

Rep Hunt .rep@state.or.us>


Cc:

“VICTORIA@VICTORIATAFT.COM” @victoriataft.com>



Speaker Hunt,


Thank you for taking time during this emergency session to address my email personally…………


Yes, from the 10,000 foot perspective, a $4000 tax bill should not require a reduction of overall personnel’s hours equal to 2 FTE (80 hrs/week).  However, I ask that you look at it from my perspective down in the trenches of the Oregon economy.  Small businesses are getting squeezed from all sides (Increasing costs/expenses, downward pressure on pricing, slower economic activity), the actual available gross margin dollars (Resale – COGS = GM$) that pay the tax, is getting smaller and more difficult to obtain:

–          Measure 67 will result in an additional expense for my company …………and Salem can NOT deny that

–          In a down economy, the last thing I need are additional expenses.

–          In a down economy, it is difficult to raise prices high enough to make up for the additional tax/expense.

–          We already pay over $100K in various taxes (payroll, real & property, licenses) every year.

–          After direct payroll (salary+commission+benefits), taxes are the second largest expense category and account for 10% of TOTAL corporate expenses.


Now back to why Measure 67 was a major contributing factor in my decision to lay off (2) FTE’s.  To stay in business, each owner must make some sort of return on investment (ROI).  Since I am like every other Oregonian that wants “Somebody else to pay the tax”, I did some math to determine how much additional sales/gross margin would be required to pay the tax and NOT have a negative effect on the ROI:

               Measure 67 Tax for $5-7M                      $4000

               10 year Average ROI                                 4.3%

               Cash needed to ensure 4.3% ROI           $ 93,000     ($4000 tax divided by 4.3% ROI)

               Current Gross Margin%                           20%    (average corporate mark-up)

               Sales Required                                           $465,000    (Approximately 1 months worth of Sales)

 

Based on these calculations:

1.       It will take 13 months of sales activity to generate enough gross margin to pay for 12 months of the gross receipt taxes.

2.       The $93,000 in gross margin dollars need to pay the $4000 tax, is equal to (2) FTE based on URS’s average salary of $42K + benefits.

3.       That is why Measure 67 was a contributing factor in the decision to lay off 2 FTE’s (reduction of 80 hours).

 I prefer to support NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) rather than OBA/OSBRL who cater to the larger businesses here in Oregon.  NFIB’s primary focus is on the small business owner (less than 50 employee) and they were AGAINST Measure 66/67.

 What is frustrating was the propaganda coming from Salem that Measure 66/67 would not affect the middle class…….…I think Salem is finding out it was wrong.

 Mark T**********

President

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Thursday Free For All: Tri Met’s Market Share is the Same Today as in 1988

Questions to consider:

  • Can we afford extravagant light rail systems if we’re not increasing market share?
  • Buses are more flexible, so why more light rail?
  • If WES is a huge net drag on the system, why do we continue to run it?
  • How do you justify spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new rail lines amid fiscal emergency?
  • If the mandate of Tri Met is to move the most folks around, then why fewer, more flexible buses and more, inflexible light rail?
  • If the mandate exists (see above) then why is Tri Met’s answer to budget holes to CUT OFF buses?
  • Is there a point where Tri Met needs to stop expanding?
  • Do we have enough money for the increased maintenance costs of all this new light rail?
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com