Deschutes County Circuit Court Case No. 17CV41968
On September 26, 2017, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, BHG Bend, LLC, and Wall Street Suites, LLC (together, the “Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the City of Bend alleging that the City’s recently enacted Ordinance NS-2291 violated ORS 320.350(3) by impermissibly lowering the amount of room tax revenue expended to fund tourism promotion. Through their Complaint, the Plaintiffs sought (1) a declaration from the Court that NS-2291 violated ORS 320.350(3), and (2) an injunction preventing the City from enforcing NS-2291 and ordering the City to expend room tax revenue in accordance with ORS 320.350(3).
The City answered, denying that NS-2291 violated ORS 320.350(3). The City’s sole affirmative defense was that the Plaintiffs each lacked standing to challenge the validity of NS-2291. After limited discovery was concluded, Plaintiffs and Defendants filed cross-motions for summary judgment. On May 8, 2018, the parties’ motions were heard by the Hon. Judge Beth Bagley. Plaintiffs were represented by Josh Newton. The City was represented by Ian Leitheiser.
On May 23, 2018, Judge Bagley read the Court’s decision from the bench. The Court found that each of the Plaintiffs had standing to challenge NS-2291. The Court then found that by enacting NS-2291, the City violated ORS 320.350(3) by lowering the room tax revenue expended on tourism promotion below the rate agreed upon by the City prior to the enactment of ORS 320.350(3). Karnopp Petersen is in the process of preparing an order and judgment to be entered in the action.
Once the final judgment is entered, the City may appeal the Court’s decision. The City will have 30 days from the date the final judgment is entered to file its Notice of Appeal.
ORLA thanks the firm Karnopp Petersen LLP for their excellent representation in this case.
Update: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office recently announced a plan to increase the Portland business tax from 2.2% to 2.6% to pay for an additional 58 officers in the police budget. That number was reduced to 49 new officers, however the City Council agreed to hire 55 officers by the 2019-20 budget year. The tax was something of a surprise to us but does not in any way diminish our commitment to increasing the number of police officers in Portland.
The Portland Business Alliance (PBA) is supporting the increase on business taxes and agreed to step up on this tax increase in order to help address Portland’s top issue of homelessness, which impacts businesses and livability throughout the city. The additional revenue will be targeted toward measurable outcomes.
Like the Portland Business Alliance, ORLA is supportive of the focused efforts on homelessness, providing community-based policing and targeting measurable outcomes. Visitors to and residents of Portland should feel safe to walk the streets, day or night, and should believe Portland to be a place welcoming their presence and patronage.
Support for Portland Policy Bureau's Budget Request
As the City of Portland continues to be a preferred destination for many visitors regionally, nationally and internationally, it’s important they feel safe while staying in our hotels, eating at our restaurants and enjoying all we have to offer in the hospitality industry.
With the 2018-2019 budget season well underway, the Mayor’s Office is encouraging constituents with public safety concerns to give testimony in support of Portland Police Bureau’s budget request for additional officers.
The Portland Police Bureau is struggling to fulfill its mission to serve and protect due to a lack of funding and resources. As both the population of Portland and the number of visitors grows, they are being asked to do more with less. There are the fewer officers in the bureau than there were a decade ago, despite a 10 percent increase in Portland’s population. Consequently, the bureau continues to face challenges in patrol staffing, which has led to declining response times. In the last five years, total 911 call volume has increased by over 22%. These calls include a 97% increase in stolen vehicle calls, 64% increase in unwanted persons calls and a 32% increase in disorder calls.
Mayor Wheeler is proposing adding 93 additional sworn positions and 9 additional non-sworn positions at a cost of $12.3 million and a one-time funding request of $8.8 million which includes $2.6 million for technology replacement and $3.8 million for facilities enhancements. This budget request would increase the number of officer positions by approximately 10 percent--on par with Portland’s growth.
Key Points to the Proposal
The Police Bureau's budget requests for additional ongoing resources will advance the bureau’s mission and goals to provide 21st Century Policing services, to support organizational excellence and inclusion, and to rebuild their units to deliver community policing. Priorities include:
Read more on ORLA's engagement in Portland's homeless issues.
Share Your Testimony
We want to show the Mayor we support his priorities to increase public safety and police accountability to enhance livability. Submit your testimony online or attend a public hearing. If you send an email, please Cc: Astley@OregonRLA.org on your message to the City Budget Office so we can share our industry's collective feedback.
Attend a Hearing:
Budget Committee Hearing
May 10, 2018, 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Council Chambers, Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97204
Council Action to Approve City Budget
May 16, 2018, 2:00pm
Council Chambers, Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Ave., Portland, OR 97204
Hospitality Business Leaders Act on Portland’s Homeless Issues
Congratulations to Bend High School and Willamette High School for taking first place in the management and culinary competitions, respectively, at the 2018 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational! See photos from the event.
Top placing teams in each category, culinary and management, received a share of the $675,000 in scholarships awarded. First place teams earned a spot at National ProStart Invitational where Willamette H.S. culinary team placed 6th out of 48 and Bend H.S. management team scored 26th out of 46!
Results for the 2018 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational in Salem, Oregon:
The event is produced by ORLA’s Education Foundation and made possible by the generous contributions of the sponsors:
Metro, the agency that manages systems for handling and transporting solid waste, wants to transform how the Portland area handles food waste in an effort to convert our food scraps into renewable energy instead of burying them in a landfill.
In 2016, the Metro Council directed staff to investigate ways to do that. In fall 2017, Metro sought public comment on an initial policy proposal to keep more food scraps from restaurants, grocery stores, and other food service businesses out of landfills and put to better use creating energy, compost or other valuable products. The regional government is in the process of seeking a private company to build a plant that breaks down food waste and turns it into biogas, electricity, or compost.
ORLA is engaged in these discussions, anticipating that many restaurant owners will oppose the new mandates that would produce operational challenges.
Metro has developed a guide for businesses to reduce food waste, focusing on prevention, donation, and composting strategies. Learn more about Metro's campaign at FoodWasteStopsWithMe.org.
Read more on Metro's website
Read more in the Portland Tribune