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Why Oregon shouldn’t repeal the kicker

June 23, 2015

nfib-logoBy Jan Meekcoms
Oregon NFIB

Taxpayers could receive almost $473 million in rebates.

Oregon’s kicker rebate system, which is expected to return nearly $473 million to state taxpayers next year, is threatened by new proposals in the legislature.

Under the unique kicker provision in the state’s constitution, Oregon must return to income taxpayers any revenues above predictions if those revenues exceed predictions by 2 percent or more. In May, the amount owed to taxpayers was estimated at almost $473 million, or about $284 for an average family, though the final figure won’t be known until late summer.

That money could allow small business owners to invest in their businesses, helping to grow the economy. However, House Bill 3555 would instead give the excess funds to Oregon’s rainy day fund and education. Other proposals call for limiting the kicker to $500 per taxpayer or ending the kicker and sending all the money to education.

Oregon’s small businesses are already facing proposals that would raise the minimum wage, mandate paid sick leave, require participation in a state-run retirement fund and ban asking about felonies on job applications.
The rebate would be given as a credit on state income taxes filed next year, instead of via checks, as happened the last time Oregonians received the rebate.

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