Morning Roundup: Another corporate tax proposal; Headscratcher: Is Oregon economy too strong?

Willamette Week

In today’s news, Steve Novick proposes a different corporate tax, Oregon wants more Medicaid funding and yes, it’s possible the economy might be too strong.

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1. Portland may seek its own corporate tax

While voters are considering Measure 97, Portland Commissioner Steve Novick is proposing a tax of his own. Willamette Week reports Novick wants to implement a 10% charge to corporations that pay CEOs between 100 and 250 times that of an average employee, bumping the charge to 25% for companies with CEO salaries more than 250 times an employee. The proposal could generate more than $2.5 million annually.

2. Speaking of funding, Oregon wants more for Medicaid

It’s been five years since the Oregon Health Authority received $1.9 billion in federal grant money to transform the state’s Medicaid system. But the Portland Business Journal reports that was apparently not enough money. OHA is asking for another $1.25 billion to continue its shift to a coordinated care model. 

3. Seems counterintuitive: But is Oregon economy too strong?

Former state economist Tom Potiowsky says Oregon’s economic growth has been almost too strong. Potiowsky says there isn’t a tech or housing bubble, rather a labor shortage threatening the economy. But the Portland Tribune reports one of the biggest threats to Oregon’s growing economy is actually income inequality.

4. Portland homeless shelter saga continues

Developer Homer Williams wants to open a homeless shelter in Portland, but the empty Wapato jail — offered by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners — wouldn’t work for his plan, Willamette Week reports. Williams says  the North Portland location is an issue and he intends to continue his pursuit of Terminal 1.

5. Vancouver will get its biotech company after all

Two weeks ago, the Port of Vancouver nixed its plan to host a biotech firm at Vancouver’s Terminal 1. AbSci, a Portland biotechnology company, withdrew its agreement to lease the former Red Lion building. The company announced this morning it will instead relocate its offices to downtown Vancouver in the new Hudson Building. AbSci received $200,000 from the Strategic Reserve Fund to build its lab.

6. Pendleton flys by FAA drone rules

The Federal Aviation Administration’s new rules for drones went into effect this morning, but not for Pendleton. The city’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Range was granted a reprieve. The East Oregonian reports the FAA approved UASR’s request for an exemption, and gave its permission to fly drones up to 9,999 feet any time of day — as long as the aircraft remains visible to the operator. FAA rules require drones to fly under 400 feet. 

7. Oregon projects benefit from Travel Oregon grants

Travel Oregon announced a series of matching grants totaling $560,000 yesterday. The grants were awarded to 21 different projects, ranging from St. Helens’ plan to create a city-wide brand to the restoration of the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau space.

8. Portland real estate management company raises $8.45 million

Cozy, a Portland-based property management site, has completed its Series B funding round of $8.45 million. The latest influx of funding will allow Cozy to expand its workforce and products.