- Wellness Center Temporary Closure
- Sherman County Senior & Community Center February Meal Menu
- Changes to your property tax return filing
- AARP TAX Site in Rufus, Feb. 13-April 9
- Links: Harney County, Public Land Management
- Sen. Doug Whitsett | Minimum Wage Proposals Could Hurt Our Working Poor
1. Wellness Center Temporary Closure
Notice: Due to some flooding, the Wellness Center is temporarily closed. This closure will last at least through the weekend of January 29th-February 1st. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
~ Caitlin Blagg, District Administrator, Sherman County Health District Sherman County Medical Clinic Office: 541.565.0536 Clinic: 541.565.3325 www.shermancountymedicalclinic.net
2. Sherman County Senior & Community Center February Meal Menu
We serve lunch at 12:00, noon sharp. First come, first served. If you have a group of 2 or more, please let the Kitchen staff know at 541-565-3191 the day before to ensure that we make enough food to serve! MEAL PRICING: Under 60 Yrs. Is $6.00 ~ 60 Yrs. & Up $3.00 suggested donation!
|1||2 Groundhog’s Day||3||4||5|
|Beef Patty w/Mushroom Gravy||Chicken Stir Fry||Chicken Enchiladas||Tater Tot Casserole||Potato Soup|
|Mashed Potatoes & Veggies||Rice & Egg Rolls||Beans and Rice||With Veggies||BLT Sandwich|
|Salad & Pie & Ice cream||Green Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Dessert||Green Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Dessert|
|8||9||10 Silent Auction Day||11||12|
|Granny’s Beef Casserole||Spaghetti w/Meat Sauce||Roast Beef||Chicken Pot Pie||Pulled Pork Sandwich|
|Veggies & Rolls||Garlic Toast & Veggies||Red Potatoes & Veggies||With Veggies||French Fries|
|Green Salad & Dessert||Green Salad & Fruit||Red Salad & Red Velvet Cake||Green Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Dessert|
|Oven Fried Chicken||Taco Soup||Crab Stuffed Pollack||Cheeseburgers|
|Mashed Potatoes/gravy||Corn Chips & Salsa||AuGratin Potatoes||Baked Beans & Mac Salad|
|Veggies, Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Ice Cream||Veggies, Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Dessert|
|Parmesan Chicken||Baked Potato Bar||Mac & Cheese w/Ham||Pizza: Supreme, Hawaiian,||Hash Brown Casserole|
|Creamy Noodles||Chili & Biscuits||Veggies & Rolls||& Cooks Choice||Blueberry Muffins|
|Veggies, Salad & Dessert||Green Salad & Fruit||Green Salad & Dessert||Green Salad & Fruit||Fruit and Dessert|
|29||Don’t Forget: Valentine’s Day Silent Auction Fundraiser on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Call for details or to donate.|
|White Chicken Chili|
|Salad and Rolls|
Menu subject to change due to availability. ATTENTION: For those who have food allergies, be aware that a large variety of foods are prepared in the kitchen. Therefore, meals may be prepared with ingredients and food service equipment may come in contact with ingredients to which you may have an allergic reaction, such as nuts.
3. Changes to your property tax return filing
~ Oregon Department of Revenue
SALEM, OR– If you own a business, even a home-based business, Oregon law requires you file a yearly personal property tax return with your county assessor. The deadline to file your return has changed. You must complete and return it to the assessor, file it online, or postmark it on or before March 15, 2016. Extensions are no longer available (House Bill 2484 amended ORS 308.290). Personal property taxes are due November 15, 2016. Check your property tax statements to find out how much you owe. Completed returns must include a detailed list of all business-related personal property, along with equipment purchases or lease dates, and original costs. Personal property includes: * Office furniture, personal computers, and easily moved machinery. * Off-road vehicles. * Display cases if they are used in the business. * Leased equipment including copiers and power washers. The county assessor calculates the tax due each year based on the personal property return. The assessor will not impose a tax if the property value is under the cancellation threshold. Business owners must file a return each year, even if: * You didn’t receive a tax return from the county in which your property is located. * The assessor previously canceled your tax. * You sold or closed your business during the year. * You sold or disposed of your personal property. If a business owner doesn’t file, penalties vary from 5 percent to 50 percent of the taxes due, depending on when the return is filed. Assessors will calculate tax, penalty, and interest for up to the previous five years if a business hasn’t reported personal property in the prior years. For forms and a complete list of taxable personal property, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or call 1 (800)356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); (503) 378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1 (800)886-7204.
4. AARP TAX Site in Rufus, Feb. 13-April 9
Gwen Lincoln will begin preparing taxes on Saturdays by appointment at the Rufus Community Center from, February 13th through April 9th, 2016. Please call to set up your Saturday appointment 😦 541) 993-1054
What you will need to bring with you for 2015 Tax preparations:
1) It is highly recommended that you bring your prior year tax return with all attachments and schedules.
2) Picture Identification, Social Security Cards & birthdates for all
3) W2’s, 1099 R’s & SSA, 1099 Misc – all other income statements
4) Investment documents, dividend and interest income
5) 1098 T – Education expenses
6) 1095A or 1099SA – Health Insurance information & itemized medical expenses to include medical miles
7) 1098 – Mortgage Interest & Property Tax Statements
8) Itemized statements for donations
9) Day care receipts
HINT: Check your last year’s return to see if there are other categories of income, expenses or credits that you may be able to claim in 2015, if so please bring those documents as well.
5. Sen. Doug Whitsett | Minimum Wage Proposals Could Hurt Our Working Poor
Bills significantly increasing Oregon’s minimum wage will be a main topic of vigorous and divisive debated during the upcoming 2016 legislative session.
Governor Brown is also floating a minimum wage proposal. Her concept would raise the wage in all areas outside of the Portland Metro Urban Growth Boundary to $10.25 in 2017 and to $13.50 by 2022. Within the Boundary the minimum wage would be increased to $15.52 by 2022.
Another legislative proposal by Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) would create three separate minimum wages throughout the state.
These are compromise proposals by Brown and Dembrow. They are purportedly being advanced in hopes of avoiding an expensive, multi-million dollar fight at the ballot box in the months leading up to the November general election. Several other bills have been introduced.
House Bill 4054 has been referred to the House Committee on Business and Labor. It would increase the state’s minimum wage in graduated steps to $13.50 per hour by 2019. It would also repeal the state preemption of local minimum wage requirements, thereby allowing cities and counties to enact their own minimum wage laws.
A nearly identical proposal has taken the form of Senate Bill 1592. It has been referred to the Senate Workforce and General Government Committee.
SB 1532 has also been referred to the same Senate committee. It would establish a tiered system for determining minimum wage based on an employer’s size and geographic location and suspend the annual inflation adjustment for the state’s minimum wage rate until 2020. The bill would also repeal the state preemption of local minimum wage requirements.
What is obvious is the minimum wage issue will either be decided by legislators next month or by the vote of the people at the November election. Much less obvious are the affects that the proposed increases could have on the state’s overall economy.
A new report has been compiled and released that details those affects. The January 12 report, entitled “Impacts of Increasing Oregon’s Minimum Wage,” was written by Eric Fruits, Ph.D. He is the president and chief economist for Economics International Corp. and an adjunct professor at Portland State University.
For the sake of full disclosure, Fruits is also a former chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party. His report was prepared on the behalf of the Oregon Neighborhood Stores Association.
The report uses detailed analysis to describe the potential aftermath of the proposed increases.
According to the study, increasing the minimum wage to $13.50 would result in the loss of around 55,000 jobs, and raising it to $15 would cost 67,000 jobs. Those losses would occur by 2020, when the measures are fully implemented.
A minimum wage of $13.50 would reduce wages and salary incomes in the state by an estimated $6.2 billion, and by $6.9 billion for $15 per hour by the year 2020. The reduced average annual income per worker would be $1,512 for $13.50 per hour and $1,515 for a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Information in the report makes clear the minimum wage proposals being advanced in the name of helping the working poor will actually do them a huge disservice over the long-term.
The report cites this data provided by the non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) in July 2014 regarding the impacts of an increase in the minimum wage. LRO analyzed raising the wage only from $9.10 to $11.50, beginning in 2015.
LRO’s findings of fact includes that an increase of only $2.40 per hour would result in net employment losses over the long-term. According to LRO, the state would lose nearly 3,000 jobs in the first year, and would continue to experience increased job loss through 2025. At that point the job losses would stabilize at around 20,000.
A positive, first-year impact of $900 million in personal income would remain slightly positive until the year 2020. At that point the LRO analysis shows personal income trending negative into the future.
Although SB 1532 takes a unique tiered approach to raising the minimum wage, it does not appear to take some very important factors into consideration. A salient point of Dr. Fruit’s report on the impacts of raising the minimum wage is within the state and within the City of Portland, employment, incomes, poverty and cost of living are unevenly distributed.
“The assertion that Portland has a higher cost of living than the rest of the state turns a blind eye to the differences in the cost of living within the City of Portland,” the report states.
It goes on to state that rents in the low-income, high-poverty areas on Portland’s outer east side are less than half of what they are in other parts of the city. There are huge disparities, for example, within North and Northeast Portland.
Given the logic of the solution presented in SB 1532, it would make just as much sense to establish differing minimum wage levels on either side of the Willamette River, where it divides Portland’s east and west sides.
Another important point is a substantial increase in the minimum wage could limit economic opportunities for thousands of Oregonians.
The report states unemployment is a “major source of rising inequality and stagnating incomes”. It adds that a three-percentage point increase in unemployment is associated with a two-percentage point increase in family poverty.
The report makes quite clear, through thoroughly documented research, that unemployment and underemployment lie at the core of poverty. It states that higher unemployment leads to greater inequality and weakens the relative position of low-income groups and vulnerable populations.
Poverty is best solved by providing job opportunities for all adults. “Minimum wage increase takes income from one group of Oregon workers in order to benefit another group of Oregon workers, without increasing—and likely decreasing—total Oregon wage income,” the report states.
As it is, Oregon has the highest rate of poverty on the West Coast. Raising the minimum wage would actually do little to improve the situation, and would arguably make it worse. The report states that the working poor face a disproportionate share of job losses, and that employed persons affected by an increase in the minimum wage are less likely to be employed a year later.
Youth unemployment in Oregon is higher than the national average. That trend worsened in the early 1990s as the state’s minimum wage became higher in relation to the federal minimum wage. According to the report, raising the minimum wage even further would reduce upward mobility and create less access to the kinds of opportunities for young people to acquire work experience. What this means is that teens and low-skilled workers would be the most adversely affected by an increase in minimum wage.
Oregon has consistently ranked among the top five states with underemployment since 2003, the year after voters approved Measure 25 in the November 2002 election, and has experienced the nation’s highest rate of underemployment in seven of the last 13 years. Oregon also has experienced a significantly lower labor force participation rate than the national average.
Attempts to raise the minimum wage through legislation or through the ballot box will undoubtedly lead to unintended consequences for businesses and workers alike. I strongly urge voters to read the reports and consider their findings as this issue makes its way through the legislative process in the coming weeks.
I believe increasing Oregon minimum wage will cause the same people who are currently struggling to make ends meet to be significantly worse off than they already are. Their ability to achieve the American Dream and improve their standing in life will be severely limited by public policies that actually cause harm to their economic status in the long-run.
Please remember–if we do not stand up for rural Oregon, no one will.
~ Sen. Doug Whitsett
6. Links: Harney County, Public Land Management
Oregon Cattlemen’s Association
Government Makes an Example of the Hammonds
Oregon Showdown Further Polarizes Federal Land Debate
Freedom Outpost | The Hammond Ranch and BLM
FBI releases dramatic video of traffic stop, shooting
Congressman Walden | Wildlife Refuge, Water, New Wilderness Proposal, U.S. Service Academies
American Lands Council | Why the Oregon Uprising? BLM Fire Video
Prineville councilors join Crook Co. in rejecting rec area proposal
A rare white giraffe is spotted in Tanzania
Going Paleo, 1959 Oregon Magazine
Digitized Newspapers (Corvallis Advocate)
A cooperative effort between Oregon State University Libraries and Press, the Benton County Historical Society and Museum, and the University of Oregon’s Knight Library has led to a newly digitized collection of newspapers from Corvallis’ history. Copies of the Corvallis Times and the Corvallis Gazette, dating from 1863 to 1909, are now available online at oregonnews.uoregon.edu.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The 40,000-Mile Volcano
50 Unbelievable Facts About Earth!
Opinion Archive: Charles Krauthammer
Bob’s Ghosttown Safaris | Photography
The Wall Street Journal | Opinion
Linn’s Stamp News Coverage – Columbia River Gorge stamp eclipses $20 denomination mark
Congressman Greg Walden
Congressional Oversight Hearing
Oregon Mortuary & Cemetery Board Newsletter
The American People vs. The Political Establishment
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
Oregon Plan for Salmon & Watersheds
Oregon Wildlife Economic Impact
Renewably harvested Boardman tree operation sold, will become dairyland – Portland Business Journal