House passes renter protections, hotel tax, firearm background check

House passes protections for renters that restrict rent increases, a hotel tax to benefit Eugene and closes gun background check loophole.

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House Bill 4143 ensures landlords need to wait a year before raising rent for month-to-month tenants. They will also be required “to give a 90-day notice before they can increase rent on month-to-month renters after that — up from 30 days now,” according to the Register Guard.

In an effort to attract support from landlords, the bill also increases to $250 from $50 the fine for renters who violate a no-­smoking clause more than once, and allows some older buildings to be exempt from new requirements related to secondary exits in bedrooms.

Tight housing markets, where demand for housing far outpaces the available units, has caused housing costs to rise sharply in some Oregon cities in recent years — particularly in Portland and its suburbs.

(READ MORE: Register Guard)

The approved hotel tax will “potentially paving the way for a $25 million subsidy for the 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene,” according to the Register Guard.

House Bill 4146 passed 37-20 on a bipartisan vote, with support from 31 Democrats and six Republicans. As a tax increase, it needed at least 36 ‘yes’ votes. The bill now heads to the Senate.

HB 4146 would increase the state’s current 1 percent lodging tax, also charged on campsite stays and short-term rentals, to 1.8 percent. That’s down slightly from the initial proposal to double the state tax.

(READ MORE: Register Guard)

The background-check loophole closure requires firearm sellers to wait until the check is complete before the buyer can take the gun.

The bill seeks to address what’s been called the ‘Charleston Loophole,’ which allows gun dealers to sell a weapon if a background check isn’t completed within three business days.

… House Bill 4147 initially would have required gun sellers to wait until receiving confirmation that a buyer passed a background check — no matter how long it took — before proceeding with the sale. The bill was amended amid backlash from moderate Democrats, and the version the House sent to the Senate allows dealers to sell a firearm if a background check isn’t completed within 10 business days.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

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