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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Economists Predicting 'Likely' Kicker


Oregon taxpayers could receive an unexpected windfall next year.

It's looking more likely that the state's unique “kicker” rebate will be triggered. That's according to a revenue forecast issued Thursday by state economists.

Strong job growth has led to a rapid increase in state income tax collections. Oregon's state economist Mark McMullen told a panel of lawmakers that it's good news.

But he added, ”Unfortunately the additional economic growth doesn't translate into additional resources and an easier job for legislative budget writers."

That's because of the kicker. When income tax revenues exceed projections by more than two percent, the Oregon constitution requires all of the excess be returned to taxpayers.

Last time the median kicker per taxpayer was $295 from a total overall kicker of about $1 billion. This time the rebate “pool” is projected to be about one-third of that -- and Oregon has more taxpayers eligible for potential refunds.

The final determination on whether there will be a kicker will come this summer.