Don’t Steal the Kicker

CascadeNewLogoBy Steve Buckstein

Would you like to pay $284 less in Oregon personal income tax next year? That’s what the average taxpayer may save if Oregon’s constitutional kicker law is allowed to take effect.

The kicker law requires that if actual state revenue for a biennium exceeds the official economic forecast by two percent or more, the entire surplus is returned to those taxpayers who earned it. It now appears that the state will collect $473 million more than projected and thus have to give all that money back to taxpayers, in the form of a 6.7% credit on their tax bill.

Well, not if State Representative Tobias Read of Beaverton has anything to say about it. He’s introduced House Bill 3555 that would suspend the kicker and send all that money to schools and the state’s rainy day fund. The bill requires a two-thirds super majority vote in both houses of the legislature, something that hopefully will be very hard to do.

Read says that his bill “gives us an opportunity to invest in the things that reflect our values as Oregonians….” Apparently, “our values” don’t include things like carrying out the intent of the voters when they put the kicker in the Oregon Constitution. “Our values” apparently also don’t include letting people keep as much of their own money as possible to spend on the things that they think will benefit their own families.

Steve Buckstein is Founder and Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy think tank.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Government Spending, Oregon Government, Oregon House, State Budget, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • guest

    Tobias Read rhymes with screed antithesis anything butt on the level.
    Recall or vote the Dem misfit out: Bellow hello, he’s a folly bejewelled insurgent past due to be kicked in his asinine behind fallout.

    • guest

      Tobias Read represents what wrong with the voting intelligence or lack thereof in Washington Country. Brent Barton manifests the same in Clackamas County.

  • Bob Clark

    Oregon marches towards a government union model, requiring ever larger public spending to buy off voters and squashing or moving to the side those not fortunate to fit within this model. There are other states freer and more at liberty to adapt to changing global economic conditions. Businesses will trend over time to the latter and away from Oregon, on relative basis.

    How sad my native state, once home to the rugged individual, pioneer and logger.

    • Granola girl

      Now our state is being taken over by a bunch of green hipsters!

  • Jack Lord God

    Generally people who agree with keeping the kicker do so out of a low information mindset. It will go to schools, so it must be good, because schools always need more money.

    Take some time, lay out the facts to them. Ask if they know per pupil spending. Tell them when they don’t Ask if they understand conventional public schools are our most expensive format, and provide the worst results. Public schools get the most per student, with charter schools second, followed by private schools, and lastly home schools. Performance is pretty much the exact reverse order.

    There is zero correlation between spending on schools and academic performance. We spend more than almost any other country in the world per pupil. Anyone think we have the best schools?

    The bottom line is – if you can educate people so they react less reflexively to the idea that more money for schools is always a good idea, you have gone a long long way to changing the economic outlook for our state.

  • IhateLiberals

    Once again the DIM Legislature wants to keep more of your tax dollars. Isn’t it about time they gave up this sort of foolishness?

  • Nano

    I am a teacher and proud of it. I say the kicker should go toward getting me a living wage. If it already sent in that proves that it wasn’t needed by whoever sent it in, as they are still around and doing well…so please, keep the kicker money and invest it in the future by paying me what I am worth. I am a professional. As such, I need more money for what I do.

    • Noah Needem

      Oh bawls exclaimeth Caitlin Transgender! Who needs ’em, not aye!

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