Friday, December 4, 2020
News & Notes
WEA asks Metro to educate & clarify on homeless services tax
   WEA submitted a letter of testimony to Metro this week in regards to the implementation of the homeless services tax, and member John Cook, a CPA and former Tigard Mayor, testified at the meeting as well.
   The testimony WEA provided encourages Metro to start an education program for taxpayers, businesses, and tax preparers.
   WEA's letter points out this is a new tax and most of those required to pay the tax are not aware of it.
   Cook provided examples to the Metro Council on how this could become problematic, especially for those filing jointly where an employer doesn't realize money needs to be withheld from an employee's paycheck because they don't know how much the employee's spouse makes.
   He also shared how a retired couple unfamiliar with the tax may sell an asset, such as a rental home, and it pushes their income over the $200,000 threshold.
   WEA's letter also asks for leniency on penalties for the tax and to align with Oregon income tax law, since it's what the region's taxpayers are most familiar with.
   To read the letter, click here.
Washington County Chair provides end of the year message
   With this year's pandemic, Washington County was unable to host its annual "State of the County" address last spring.
   Instead, Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington provided a virtual "2020 End of Year Message" this week.
   In her address, Harrington talked about the challenges of 2020 and how the county responded.
   She also provided some positive/encouraging words for moving forward into the future.
   If you missed her address, you can see a recording of it on the county's YouTube channel.
PGE partners with Daimler on a first of its kind charging station for trucks
   It's being dubbed "Electric Island," and it will be a charging site for medium and heavy-duty electric commercial vehicles.
   The project, which is under construction near Daimler Trucks North America's (DTNA) headquarters, is a partnership between Portland General Electric and DTNA.
   It's designed to support up to nine vehicle charging stations with charging levels up to more than one megawatt (this is four times faster than today’s fastest light-duty vehicle chargers).
   Plans for more chargers, on-site energy storage, solar power generation, and a product and technology showcase building are currently being finalized.
   PGE President and CEO Maria Pope said, “Oregon's transportation future is electric, and with global leaders like Daimler Trucks North America right here in Portland, we have the opportunity to accelerate a clean energy transition. We are excited to launch this cutting-edge partnership with DTNA, demonstrating what is possible when utilities and the automotive industry collaborate and innovate."
   Electric Island will also give both DTNA and PGE more information and data to help with research and development in the commercial electric vehicle industry.
   To read more, click here.
Odds & Ends
  • Congratulations to David Evans & Associates, along with Clean Water Services, for winning the 2020 APWA Project of the Year award. These partners were recognized for the Tualatin Interceptor project.

  • Washington County is looking for feedback on a proposed short-term rental licensing program in its urban unincorporated area. To weigh in, visit this online open house.

  • Transportation feedback is needed for the Tualatin Valley Trail. This trail will run parallel to TV Highway and connect Aloha to neighboring communities. You can learn more and voice your opinion at its online open house.

  • Washington County is also hosting an online open house for the Walker Road Phase 3 project. This is for the section of Walker Road running between 173rd and 185th.

  • Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) is looking for feedback on park names. To learn more, click here.

  • If you are an entrepreneur or have a venture, Washington County is hosting a webinar for you on Thursday (December 10) at 12:00 p.m. Click here to learn more.

  • The City of Wilsonville is hosting an online listening session focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion on Tuesday (December 8) at 6:00 p.m. To learn more, click here.

  • OHSU is looking for volunteers for the phase 3 clinical trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine. It is being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. To learn more, click here.

  • If you are looking to brighten the mood, the City of Beaverton and other cities around the region are hosting light displays, or perhaps try the Oregon Zoo's drive-through ZooLights.
Events coming up
Wed. 12/9 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee is cancelled

Th. 12/10 - The Government Relations Committee (GRC) will meet virtually at 7:30 a.m. to talk about the upcoming legislative session. All members are welcome. Contact Pam Treece for more information.

Wed. 12/16 at 7:30 a.m. The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Wed. 12/16 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. Contact KC Reinhart for more information.

To see more of the WEA calendar, please visit the WEA website.