Update: Metro has updated draft administrative rules to guide the implementation of its business food scraps separation policy, adopted by the Metro Council on July 26. The draft administrative rules were available for public comment through Friday, Sept. 28. Read more.
Portland Area Businesses to Be Subject to Food Scrap Policy
As part of ORLA's ongoing engagement with Metro on the food scraps, ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt and Director of Business Development Marla McColly recently testified at Metro’s public hearing against the proposed food scrap mandate. ORLA and our members have been involved in the past in the voluntary collection of food scraps and we testified to that fact and the fact that participants in the past have exceeded the goals set by Metro. (Read ORLA's comments)
We also raised concerns about the logistics of food scrap collections across the Metro area, about the implementation dates and about issues around public health and safety if food scraps are not picked up in a timely manner. In addition to ORLA there was opposition to the plan from local governments in both Sherwood and Hillsboro, citing the lack of analysis on the costs to implement the new mandate and the ability of local governments (especially in Washington County) to efficiently dispose of food waste. Despite ORLA’s efforts and those of local governments, Metro Council voted in favor of the staff recommendation for a food scrap mandate on a 7-0 vote.
The mandate is scheduled to start on March 1, 2020 and will be implemented based on the amount of food waste generated by businesses. ORLA will continue to monitor the implementation of this program and provide information to our members. As the program is rolled out, if you experience problems or have concerns, please share those with Greg Astley, ORLA Director of Government Affairs, at Astley@oregonrla.org so we can keep Metro informed as to the effectiveness and success of their mandate.
In the news
Oregon has a strong track record of enhancing tourism and creating thousands of jobs that trigger local economic growth while making Oregon a top travel destination. That is why we are supporting Measure 104 – it will ensure tax fairness for businesses and consumers.
Join the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and protect the entrepreneurial spirit that brings award-winning plates from chefs who use Oregon’s farm fresh Marionberries and hazelnuts, salmon and crab and thousands of handcrafted beers and wines.
Unfortunately, this entrepreneurial spirit is under attack.
New taxes on beer, coffee, food, and soda have become common amongst politicians in Salem, as they search for new revenue, despite record spending levels.
How are politicians gaming the system and getting around the law?
Over 20 years ago Oregon voters passed a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority vote on all revenue-raising legislation. But now, thanks to a creative loophole found by politicians and their lawyers, politicians have changed the rules to avoid the supermajority vote designed to protect taxpayers from increased taxes on food and beverages.
This year, politicians used this trick to steal $1 billion from small businesses on a simple-majority vote, eliminating lower tax rates for hardworking, family-owned businesses throughout Oregon. That isn’t right and it needs to be stopped.
A "Yes" vote on Measure 104:
Supporting Measure 104 will help prevent partisan gamesmanship and ensure tax fairness for Oregonians. Join us in protecting the Oregon way and the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Oregon a great place to live, visit, work and play.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association encourages a "Yes” vote on Measure 104.
Here's how you can help:
For more information on volunteering for the campaign download the Volunteer Info flyer.
Contact the campaign: Yes@Yeson104.com | 503.974.8860 | www.yeson104.com
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) supports Measure 103 because it protects low-income Oregonians and small businesses, including restaurants, from new taxes on the sale or distribution of food and beverages, regardless of where such items are purchased.
Measure 103 specifically defines “groceries” as “any raw or processed food or beverage intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, marijuana products, and tobacco products.” This broad definition includes food and beverages purchased from restaurants.
Taxes on food would have a disproportionate effect on Oregonians who can least afford it, including low-income households and seniors on fixed incomes. While many states other than Oregon have sales taxes, many exempt food and beverages from those taxes for this very reason. Measure 103 protects all Oregonians from regressive and harmful taxes imposed by state and local governments on the sale of food and beverages.
Oregon currently does not have any statewide sales tax but many local governments tax certain items. Measure 103 would ensure that if new state or local sales taxes are passed in Oregon, those taxes will not apply to the sale of food and beverages. Measure 103 protects customers and businesses from the negative affects new taxes on food and beverages would have.
A meal at a restaurant or from take-out is a regular and increasing part of many Oregonians’ busy schedules. ORLA supports Measure 103 because it will ensure that such meals remain as affordable as possible without unnecessary and burdensome taxation.
Join us in voting Yes on Measure 103.
Hospitality workers make our thriving tourism industry possible. For every dollar we invest in tourism promotion, $237 comes back to Oregon in visitor spending—in addition to $11 in local/state tax revenues for important community priorities—according to third party research by Longwoods International. However, restaurant and lodging employees from Ashland to Portland, Coos Bay to Bend, are finding it more difficult to find housing close to their place of work.
Due to rising housing costs, these hard-working Oregonians are finding it more difficult to secure housing options that meet their needs. The result is long distance and congestion-filled commutes that mean less time spent with families and more money spent on transportation. Hard-working Oregonians should be able to afford to live near their job, but a lack of affordable housing options across the state is making that more difficult.
Across Oregon, there is an opportunity to lift the ban to public-private housing development partnerships that assist in solving the challenges we face. Support for Measure 102 will give local governments the opportunity to create comprehensive workforce housing proposals and present them for consideration to local voters. We believe communities deserve the right to vote on housing proposals that, if planned appropriately, can stimulate local economic growth while adding to the quality of life for hospitality workers and their families.
Measure 102 is an important, bipartisan measure that will give communities across Oregon greater flexibility to create the housing they need. By allowing local governments to partner with non-profit and private housing providers, any bond dollars they raise specifically for affordable housing will be able to go further, creating more affordable homes. This measure is a small tweak that will have a big impact in the lives of Oregonians.
Please join us in voting Yes for Measure 102.
Measure 105 would repeal the state law, Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, which forbids state agencies, including law enforcement, from using state resources or personnel to detect or apprehend persons whose only violation of the law is that of federal immigration law.
Measure 105 would allow any law enforcement agency to use agency funds, equipment, and personnel to detect and apprehend people whose only violation of the law is a violation of federal immigration law.
ORLA's position, which has been in place for several years and which the ORLA Policy Committee reconfirmed at their meeting on September 10, 2018, is that Immigration is a national issue and ORLA supports the viewpoint that reform should be addressed at the federal level, not in a piecemeal approach by individual states.
Comprehensive immigration reform must include all aspects of immigration issues—border security, worker supply and employee verification—which means that Congress is the only political body which can actually solve the immigration problem. State and local governments only make a solution more complex by trying to pass their own laws. ORLA is opposed to random, individual pieces of immigration reform and supports Congress working together on a national level to enact comprehensive reform.
For this reason, ORLA says No to Measure 105.
The public is invited to join Andrea Valderrama, Carmen Rubio, Latino Network, Forward Together and PCUN to Support Oregonians United Against Profiling at an even in Portland next month:
Oregonians United Against Profiling Happy Hour
White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave Portland OR 97214
October 10th, 4:30-6:30 pm
RSVP and donate here
Four members of Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry have been selected for the statewide 2018 Hospitality Industry Awards as announced by Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA). Dave Thomason (Thomason Hospitality Group LLC, Grants Pass) was named Restaurateur of the Year; Doug and Becky Neuman (Neuman Hotel Group, Ashland) were named Lodging Operators of the Year; Kaarina Vera (Seaside Lodging LLC, Seaside) was named Employee of the Year, and Karnopp Peterson LLP (Bend) was named Allied Partner of the Year.
The recipients of these awards will be recognized among their peers and over 300 delegates of ORLA’s Convention during the Hospitality Industry Awards Dinner on September 30, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland – Washington Square, in Tigard, Oregon.
“Oregon’s hospitality industry is teeming with individuals who contribute significantly to the health of the trade,” says Jason Brandt, president and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “These winners represent not only some of our industry’s most dedicated leaders and advocates, but also the exemplary service that sets the high standard for the entire industry to achieve.”
Restaurateur of the Year: At 16, Dave Thomason started in the restaurant industry working as a busboy for the Carl’s Jr. chain in Anaheim, CA, and now has his own company overseeing 44 operations with a total workforce of over 600 employees. He has also been a very strong advocate of the industry having served 18 years as an ORLA Board Member and is a Past President of the Association. Through Dave’s leadership, experience and passion for hospitality, Thomason Hospitality Group has realized tremendous growth in recent years with no signs of slowing down. Taprock Northwest Grill opened for business in May 2009 and has been the centerpiece of Thomason Hospitality Group’s portfolio which also includes holdings throughout the state of Oregon for Elmer’s, Pita Pits, Human Beans, and Purple Parrots. Success isn’t all about growth and profits however. Dave believes their employees are their best asset and the greatest advantage over their competitors. He maintains that treating employees with respect values their individuality and empowers them to provide great service.
Lodging Operators of the Year: In less than two decades Doug and Becky Neuman have transformed Southern Oregon’s hospitality scene. It all started as a real estate investment when they purchased the dilapidated Ashland Springs Hotel in late 1998 and “brought it back to its glory.” Their passion for Oregon led them to expand investments, and now Neuman Hotel Group’s portfolio includes four hotels, three restaurants, tow spas and soon a Victorian home. The Neuman’s impact on Southern Oregon goes beyond economic development and job creation, they filled a need in the community by revitalizing properties that celebrate what Oregon has to offer. More importantly, they have created an incredibly supportive work environment for close to 350 employees, investing in training and benefits that attract and retain a staff that love what they do.
Employee of the Year: From front desk agent to manager, Kaarina Vera has proven that hard work, along with insight and being a quick learner can reward you with greater opportunities. When Seaside Lodging acquired ownership of the property where Kaarina was working the front desk less than a decade ago, they quickly saw her potential and transferred her to sales. Shortly after, she was promoted to Sales Manager for the Inn at Seaside – a strategic move for the Inn, as she helped double the sales. Kaarina’s exceptional performance directly contributed to the growth of the company which now includes four hotels. In her current position of Sales, Marketing and Revenue Manager for Seaside Lodging LLC, Kaarina continues to shine as one of the most “honest, ethical, sincere and efficient” staff members the company is proud to employ.
Allied Partner of the Year: Karnopp Petersen, a law firm in Bend, Oregon, operates with a simple philosophy, “do your best work and give back.” For Karnopp Petersen, it’s not just about resolving disputes or winning litigation; they want to be a “value creator” for their clients by designing legal strategies that truly fit their clients’ needs, thereby giving them the best chance at achieving their goals. ORLA saw the value in this approach firsthand with a recent lawsuit regarding local lodging taxes. “The lodging industry in Oregon was in need of a law firm that could prevail in our pursuit of lodging tax protections. Karnopp Petersen has and continues to be one of ORLA’s most crucial partners in establishing the appropriate ways lodging taxes should be spent in Oregon,” said Jason Brandt, President & CEO, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “We’re more than pleased with the service they’re able to provide.”
For more information on the Hospitality Industry Awards, visit OregonRLA.org/Awards or ORLA’s Convention, visit OregonRLA.org/Convention or call 800.462.0619. For press inquiries regarding the Hospitality Industry Awards, please contact Lori Little, director of communications, at 503.682.4422.