OEDA names Senator Hass Legislator of the Year
SENATOR MARK HASS
Chair, Senate Finance and Revenue Committee
Beaverton, Aloha, Washington County
October 20, 2015
CONTACT: Dominique Rossi 503-986-1714
Economic Development Professionals Award Hass Top Legislator
MEDFORD –State Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) has been awarded with the “Legislator of the Year” by the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA), the state’s leading trade organization for economic development agencies and professionals.
The Association is holding its annual conference in Medford this week and chose Hass and Rep. Mike McLane to share the award for best promoting the economic development interests of Oregon for their work on modernizing Oregon’s central assessment taxation.
“It was one of the thorniest, most complicated bills in the legislature,” Hass said.
“The only way we got it through was by working together -- putting jobs as the top priority. Once we did that, it all fell into place.”
Specifically, Hass and McLane worked together to resolve complex changes in the way technology companies were assessed in property tax valuations. The two leaders knew that assessing tech companies’ “intangible value” in the same outdated way the state taxes railroad tracks was a red-flag for innovative business. After months of negotiations, they were able to pass a bipartisan fix (SB 611) that includes an incentive to provide high-speed internet to all Oregonians. It also kicked off a flurry of construction announcements to build giant data center projects in rural Oregon.
“In an era of deep political divides, two legislators of different parties and chambers, came together for the benefit of the state’s economy,” according to an OEDA statement. The central assessment fix has already spurred economic growth in rural Oregon. Sen. Hass will join Rep. Mike McLane in touring two new new data-centers in Prineville on Tuesday, October 27th.
The Oregon Economic Development Association is a statewide non-profit organization working to support economic development professionals. To learn more about their 2015 Annual Conference please visit OEDA.