OR Agents Advocate Bulletin
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Posted by: Administration
Corporate Activity Tax Meetings
The Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR) will host a series of meetings across the state in March to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).
Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the rules. March’s meetings will include a presentation and discussion of the initial temporary rules.
The tour kicks off in Bend March 2 with a 6 to 7:30 p.m. meeting in Science 109 on the campus of Central Oregon Community College. Additional meetings are planned in Ontario, La Grande, The Dalles, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Eugene, Gresham, Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Seaside, and Keizer. The complete schedule can be found on the CAT page of the Department of Revenue website at https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/businesses/Pages/corporate-activity-tax.aspx.
Corporate Activity Tax Policy Team
Oregon Department of Revenue
First Chamber Deadline
The deadline for bills to receive a work session in the original chamber has now passed. Please click here for an updated list of all the bills that PIAO/I is following. Not all bills have been engrossed yet.
Cash Bill Amended to Exclude Insurance Agents
HB 4107 was amended at PIAO/I’s request to exclude insurance agents from the requirement that makes unlawful practice for place of public accommodation to refuse to accept United States coins or currency as payment for goods and services. We convinced them that while many agents do take cash, they cannot accept payment on some health policies, and sometimes logistical problems arise with trust accounts. You can read the adopted amendment here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020R1/Downloads/ProposedAmendment/17475.
Noncompetition Agreement Bill Amended
SB 1527-A was amended to raise from 6 months in the original introduced bill to 12 months: “the term of a noncompetition agreement may not exceed 12 months from the date of the employee’s termination.” PIAO/I testified in favor of that amendment.
Regulation Rather Than Legislation
HB 4008 https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4008/Introduced
Permits insurer to exclude from coverage under motor vehicle liability insurance policy person other than named insured based on certain specified criteria.
The committee did not pass HB 4008, and it is dead. Instead, the Division of Financial Regulation may publish a bulletin soon providing guidance on step-down limits that may also address non-disclosed drivers.
Notice of Cancellation Bill Amended
The committee adopted amendments to HB 4125 (now HB 4125-A), which require insurers to provide 10 days’ notice of cancellation for any reason for any policy in effect up to 60 days (reason/reasons for cancellation must be provided in the notice, but reasons are not limited). After the first 60 days a policy is in effect, the law continues to require 30 days’ notice of cancellation and reasons for cancellation are limited under statute.
State Board of Towing Established
Under SB 1659-A, a State Board of Towing is established within the Oregon Department of Transportation. The bill creates a 9-member board, including among others a representative of the insurance industry. The board will regulate Oregon’s towing industry, including licensure, fees, enforcement of laws and rules related to towing vehicles, and may issue fines for non-compliance. The bill was unanimously approved by the first committee and now moves to Ways & Means.
Recommendations of the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response
A committee held hearings on multiple measures that grew out of recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response. The committee amended and passed SB 1536, a request bill from Gov. Kate Brown that incorporates several of the Council’s recommendations. The engrossed bill will be available soon.
The amended bill now allows, rather than requires, insurers to consider policy changes and underwriting standards that encourage hardening structures. It allows the Insurance Commissioner to work with insurers and the State Fire Marshal to develop “best practices” for mitigation efforts.
Cap and Trade Legislation Looming
SB 1530 and other bills regarding a greenhouse gas cap and trade program are moving through the legislative process. While not directly affecting insurance, a walkout by Republicans over the issue may change the progress of bills listed above.
Please let me know if you have any questions.