Northwest Tax Lawyer Blog

Oregon Shifts Heavy Equipment Personal Property Tax Burden to Contractors starting in 2019

Large and small heavy equipment rental providers throughout the state of Oregon recently scored a huge victory when Governor Brown signed HB 4139 into law earlier last month. The new law replaces Oregon’s existing personal property tax system for heavy equipment with a 2 percent tax on every heavy equipment rental transaction starting in 2019. While many states have either eliminated personal property tax or have exempted certain manufacturing and construction businesses from ad valorem property tax, Oregon was one of the few remaining that offered no relief or reform of any kind for heavy equipment rental providers. Critics often cited the compliance costs associated with the business personal property tax as complex and burdensome in a way that discouraged many companies from accurately reporting. The old system was a location-based tax, meaning that a company would be taxed on heavy machinery it owned based on where it was sitting on January 1 of that year. Heavy equipment rental businesses often rent their equipment out all over the state and beyond, so tracking location of constantly moving equipment for tax purposes proved difficult and also created the potential of requiring companies to pay additional tax in multiple counties or states on the same equipment where assessment dates varied.

Read More

Happy Birthday! Who sang it? Better Question – Who owns it?

In breaking news – A California Federal Judge has ruled that over the past 80 years, none of the companies who have claimed to have a valid copyright claim to the popular “Happy Birthday to You” song actually do.  The current purported holder of the copyright, Warner/Chapell (an affiliate of Warner Music) has been collecting […]

Read More

Individual Kicker Credit Amounts Announced for Oregon

On August 26th, state economists announced that taxpayers will be getting a kicker rebate for the first time in eight years.  This is Oregon’s unique system of refunding taxes paid when general fund revenue exceeds 2% of projections.  For this period, revenue exceeded estimates by $111 million so folks who paid taxes in 2014 will […]

Read More

Is Picasso Coming to Portland?

On Monday, May 11, 2015 Pablo Picasso’s oil painting, “Women of Algiers (Version O)” sold for an astonishing, and record breaking, $179.4 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium, at Christy’s in New York.  This surpasses the paltry $142 million paid for the previous record holder “Three Studies of Lucien Freud,”  by Francis Bacon, which was loaned […]

Read More

What Shark Would You Be?

As the child of a marine biologist, I find the Discovery Channel’s shark week especially entertaining. As this year’s shark week winds to a close, I wanted to leave you with this funny post from another funny legal blog. We were debating in the office which sort of shark we would be – I was […]

Read More

How do I Choose the Right Lawyer? Part 1: Finding a Lawyer

At last count, Oregon had around 12,000 active resident lawyers. This is a little over 30 lawyers for every 100,000 residents in the entire state. So, you wouldn’t think that it should be difficult to select a lawyer to help you with your legal questions. However, this is a question that people ask us all […]

Read More

Refund Opportunities and Joint Returns for Same Sex Couples

Several months ago, I wrote a quick post to alert our readers to potential refund opportunities if the Supreme Court found in favor of Ms. Edie Windsor’s argument that she should be entitled to receive a refund for estate taxes that she had to pay. Ms. Windsor had married her long-time fiancée, Thea Spyer in […]

Read More