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Governor Wants to Include Sole Proprietors in Tax Break; Scholarship Awards This Evening; Isthmus Slough Bridge to Close; City Offices Close For Memorial Day; La Bula Building Still Undetermined

Governor Wants to Include Sole Proprietors in Tax Break

A special legislative session called by Governor Kate Brown on Monday gathered lawmakers in an effort to extend a tax break for so-called “pass-through businesses,” or those in which profits go to the owner, who then pays taxes on their income instead of corporate taxes. The governor says that tax break should include sole proprietors, who were left out when it was passed in 2013. That idea faces a lot of pushback from legislators. Juan Carlos Ordoñez with the Oregon Center for Public Policy says more than two-thirds of benefits from the current tax break are going to Oregonians with incomes higher than 500-thousand dollars a year.

“While the governor has raised an inequity in the existing tax program, it’s important to recognize that there are bigger problems with this tax scheme, bigger inequities. One of those inequities is that we’re taking money away from school and essential services to fund some of the richest business owners in our state.”

 According to the Legislative Revenue Office, expanding the tax cut could cost the state 13-million dollars a year by 2022. Ordoñez says the break already creates a two-tier structure in which business owners end up paying a lower tax rate than their workers.  At a public hearing last week, state lawmakers suggested eliminating the reduced tax rate for the higher-income earners who benefit from it. Ordoñez also suggests putting an expiration date on the tax cut.

 

“This forces the Legislature periodically to review the tax break to see how it’s working. Is it achieving the goal that the Legislature had for this tax break? And if not, then reform it or get rid of it. But it forces the Legislature to look critically at the way it’s spending monies through the tax code.”

Lawmakers hope to finish up on this special session tomorrow.

Scholarship Awards This Evening

The High School Scholarship Awards Ceremony is this evening at 5 pm.  Local organizations will be handing out over $200,000 dollars to over 140 recipients.  The community is invited and encouraged to attend.  The event will be held in the main gymnasium at Siuslaw High School and doors will open at 4:30.  The monies will provide opportunities to many graduating seniors to seek some level of higher education.

Isthmus Slough Bridge to Close

If you are planning travel through Coos Bay anytime during June 1st through the 4th be prepared for delays.  The Oregon Department of Transportation has announced that the Isthmus Slough Bridge will be closed during that period and a nine mile detour will be in place.  Workers are replacing the steel deck on the bridge as part of a 9 million dollar project.  Motorists should look for detour signs and observe the posted speed limit around the construction and detour areas.  The complete project is expected to 16 months and will be finished in October 2019.

City Offices Close For Memorial Day

City offices will be closed on Monday in observance of the Memorial day holiday.  City services will continue to operate on schedule.

La Bula Building Still Undetermined

There are still no plans for the burned out building on highway 101 that was the location for La Bula restaurant.  The current designation for the fire that destroyed the structure is “suspicious” and any steps taken by the city to remove the building would have to come at the city’s expense.