Oregon Legislation

The Oregon Association of REALTORS® is involved in policy and politics to safeguard your business and help protect the American dream of homeownership. Through actively engaging in the legislative process, REALTORS® are able to protect private property rights and maintain housing affordability.

Here’s a list of important legislation before the 2019 Oregon Legislature:

Gross Receipts Tax: HB 3427 passed in the House and the Senate and was signed by the Governor. This bill creates a gross receipts tax of .57% that applies to all business entities and applies to sales over $1 million, with some deductions. The tax raises $2 billion for early childhood and K-12 education.  HB-3427-Fact-Sheet

“Middle Housing” and Housing Land Supply: HB 2001 would allow for the development of townhomes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes and “cottage clusters” on land zoned for single-family housing in cities with more than 25,000 population. The bill is currently in the Ways and Means Committee. OAR is working on amendments that would improve the process by which communities conduct their buildable lands inventory for housing stock.

Independent Contractors: Many of our REALTOR® members have contacted our Government Affairs team regarding HB 2498, which expands the definition of independent contractor. Early in the session we were promised amendments, should the bill move, to explicitly exempt licensed real estate brokers  from the expanded  definition of “independent contractors.” Currently the bill is in House Rules. While technically still active this session, it will be difficult for the sponsors  to pass the billwith, or without our amendments.

Mortgage Interest Deduction: HB 3349 would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for all second homes and for primary homes if the taxpayer earns more than $250,000. Read OAR’s testimony here. We do not expect the legislation to pass this session, but we are watching it very closely.

Statewide Rent Control: SB 608 ends no cause evictions after the first year of occupancy and limits rent increases. It was signed by the Governor early in the legislative session and is now law. OAR opposed the bill, but it sailed through both Chambers with no amendments and only perfunctory hearings. Read the OAR Senate Floor letter here. We know there are many questions. We prepared a Summary of Senate Bill 608 along with Frequently Asked Questions for your reference.

Eastern Oregon Economic Development Opportunity Zones: SB 2-A was signed by the Governor on May 24, 2019. OAR supported this bill.  It authorizes ten Eastern Oregon counties (Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Sherman, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler) to conduct an economic opportunity analysis outside of their Urban Growth Boundaries (UGB) as part of their comprehensive plan. If passed, the bill will give each county 50 acres to divide into as many as 10 different parcels for economic development without taking an exception to the statewide land use goals and without the Land Conservation and Development Commission’s approval.

Accessory Dwelling Units for Rural Residential Zones: SB 88-A would authorize a county to allow an owner of a lot or parcel in an area zoned for rural residential use to construct one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) under specified conditions including factors related to location, lot size, ADU square footage, water supply and fire risk. OAR supports this bill and testified in favor of it. It currently sits in the Ways and Means Committee.

Rural Oregon Housing Accelerator: HB 2055 and HB 2056 create a Greater Oregon Housing Accelerator program to help spur needed housing development, build creative partnerships between employers, governments, housing developers and address a critical need our communities are facing. HB 2055 will provide $15 million to support the acquisition, construction, or redevelopment of workforce housing, or the acquisition of land and infrastructure to support workforce housing. HB 2056 will update a current loan guarantee program that exists within Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to be more effective and work in partnership with HB 2055. OAR supports both bills.

Individual Development Accounts: SB 790. Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are matched savings accounts that change the financial futures of qualifying Oregonians with lower incomes. Participants build financial skills such as budgeting and saving while they save towards a defined goal. For every dollar a qualifying participant saves, the Initiative typically matches three dollars. Savings are invested in purchasing a home, fulfilling educational goals, developing a small business or pursuing another approved asset. These bills increase the amount of tax credits the state can authorize from $7.5 to $15 million and adjust the value of the credit to compensate for federal tax changes, among other changes.

Are you interested in helping advocate for homeownership? Text “REALTORS” to 30644!