Lars Larson on Corporate kicker

Why in the world would Oregon want to get rid of its corporate kicker?

There are some people who would like to get rid of Oregon’s constitutionally guaranteed corporate kicker. The state over collects taxes from its citizens and corporations. When it over collects more than 2% it has to pay the money back to the people who paid the money in the first place””citizens or corporations.

Some of the liberals who would like to expand state government, who believe that government always makes better decisions about how to use your money than you every would. Those kind of arrogant folks, they’d like to get that corporate kicker. Right now, they are talking about a quarter of a billion dollars.

But, leaving that money with corporations would do a whole lot more good. It keeps it in the private sector. Those corporations use it to expand and do more business. It makes Oregon more business friendly.

Handing it off to the government, ya, that will make sure we have more PERS pensions and more public employees. I’ve never thought that government makes better decisions about your money than you do, but the government does.

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Posted by at 09:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 28 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post

    They’ll be back after the corporate kicker next time around. I think they would love to grab the personnal one too but that would be political suicide!

  • Jerry

    Right on, right on, right on, as they say. These fools who believe in big government like a religion are a sorry, unhappy lot who are steeped in denial and self-pity. They long for a socialist or communist environment where everyone is equal – just some more equal – if you know what I am saying.
    I have pity for their misguided notions but I am not capable of understanding it. It makes NO SENSE whatsoever.
    The corporate kicker is no different than the personal kicker. Both should always be returned. To think otherwise is to be really, really out of touch with reality.

    How sad, how very, very sad.

    Remember, too, these people don’t actually want to live how they want the rest of to live…oh no, they are too smart for that. They want everyone else to live that way…we are too stupid to know what to do with our own money…they, in their wisdom, must be there to help us.

    What a pathetic, sad bunch of greedy, envious, holier-than-thou losers.

    • dean

      Jerry…I’d like “bigger” government than we have, but I don’t feel unhappy or self-pitying. I don’t long for a socialist or communist system where everyone is equal. Just a bit more equal economically, for both ethical and practical reasons.

      As for the kicker representing an “over collection” of taxes, that is just rhetoric. It only represents an understimate of collections. The amount collected is exactly that which the law calls for and not a dime more.

      I believe that Oregon is the only state that requires a return of the kicker. Why have we cluttered up our “sacred constitution” with such nonsense? Because it is fairly easy in an initiative system to get people to vote for tax cuts when they don’t have to also vote on specific program cuts, like fewer state troopers or crowded classrooms.

      And for the record Jerry, I don’t care how you choose to live your own life. But on public policies, including taxation and spending, we have to inhabit the same ship of state. Get used to it.

      And I wish you a Merry Christmas regardless of our political differences.

      • Jerry

        Dean – you made my point. We do have to live “on the same ship of state” as you say and I AM used to it. That’s why I love the kicker and you have to live with it, even though you don’t want it.
        I still contend that you should send Salem your kicker back so you can live your life truthfully.

        Happy New Year, too.

        We can always disagree yet not have bad feelings toward one another.

        I am VERY, VERY glad we have the kicker. Who cares what other states do? Many other states don’t tax as heavily as Oregon, so maybe they don’t need one. We need some mechanism to reign in the wanton spending and wanton waste in state goverment. The kicker hardly makes a dent.

        And it is only semantics about over collection vs. under collection. It is, quite simply, money the state does not require per their budget. How can you fail to understand that? And why should the state, or any other entiity, get more money than it needs??? I must admit, you really make me wonder on that one.

        Anyway, I do sincerely wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and I am glad you and yours were involved in scouting. And they are NOT homophobic. They just don’t care to go along with that lifestyle and that is most certainly their RIGHT.

        • dean

          Jerry…homosexuality is not a “lifestyle,” it is a sexual orientation. The Scouts can carry on as they see fit. Over time they will learn to accept other people for what they are and they will be the better for it, I have no doubt.

          Maybe I am dense. The state makes a budget based on their prediction of revenues, divied up among all the various programs, not based on “need.” The “need” may be greater for any given program, but the state can’t by law spend more than it takes in.

          After budgeting state programs based on the tax income estimate, in some years the tax collections end up exceeding the estimate. The kicker law does not say, take another look and see what the unmet needs are. It just says send the money legally collected above the estimate back.

          If memory serves, Oregon is well into the lower half of all states when it comes to total taxation.

          As a former government employee, I know that any given agency or program will find a way to spend as much as it gets its hands on, and that we cannot afford to do everything that we would like to do. But that does not mean that extra funding could not or should not be put to good public use. Moderation in all things said the Delphi Oracle.

          • dean

            Jerry…The Tax Foundation, a conservative organization, ranked Oregon 37th in total state and local tax burden in 2007. We pay about 10% of our total income within the state in taxes. Several of the southern states I like to pick on pay quite a bit more than we do.

          • CRAWDUDE

            Crawdude hums quietly in the corner, sitting this one out 😉

          • Jerry

            Yes, Dean, but those figures really don’t reflect the tax burden on well-to-do people who own their own homes. Then it is much higher. Best to use Money Magazine’s rankings, where Oregon does not fare so well.
            Nor does Oregon fare well on business taxation, which is why so many are fleeing the state.
            And remember, once they are gone, no tax revenue is collected.
            I looked up the tax foundation and it shows Oregon as 31st under total tax burden, which you MUST take into account as it reflects what you pay when taking allowed deductions on your federal, which can change depending on where you live.
            Please read the whole table next time you quote such figures.

          • John Fairplay

            It’s important to note that governments raise money in ways that are not “taxes.” When fees and other charges are added in, Oregon is consistently in the top 10 of the burden placed on its citizens.

  • Rick Hickey

    OR. Legislative Candidate “No Borders” Sal Peralta (rep. Donna Nelsons dist.) is driving this initiative signature collection.

    He must think we have all gone completely socialist/liberal/idiot/communist/far-left and wants you to remember that Government knows best, just go to work, pay your taxes and watch the boob tube please.

  • jerry dean

    rememeber this is coming from a man with no dog in the fight living in Vavcouver 9100 Mt Rainer Dr. In my circle of friends and acquaintances this is a huge issue (lars not living in OR) Don’t get me wrong he say anything he likes, his creditable is just shot to hell when he portrays himself as a true Oregonian and then at night goes across the border for shelter. And anyone who thinks that is the correct option just go ahead and move up and leave more for us true Oregonians.

    • devietro

      First of all Lars lived in Oregon for a long time, second of all he represents what is happening to both Oregon residents and businesses. They are running away.

  • Sal Peralta

    Rick Hickey,

    Get your facts straight.

    I have never favored an “open borders” policy. In 2006, I campaigned on federal enforcement of the border, increasing penalties for coyotes who illegally bring people into Oregon, and sending the Federal government a bill for the cost of incarcerating undocumented workers in Oregon.

    What I do not support is OFIR’s call to cripple our agricultural economy by calling for a 99 percent reduction in legal immigration into the United States.

    As for the corporate kicker — 61 percent of Oregonians, including a large majority of corporations who receive the corporate kicker favor keeping that money in Oregon rather than sending it out of state.

    The very first person to contact me to offer support for our effort to eliminate the corporate kicker was a lobbyist who represents businesses who receive nearly 1/4th of the total value of the corporate kicker.

    Folks like you and Lars may think that it’s okay for small businesses and working people in Oregon to bear the lion’s share of this state’s tax burden. Thankfully, you are in a small minority on that issue.

  • Sal Peralta

    One other point…

  • Sal Peralta

    In the 1970’s, these businesses paid roughly 20 percent of the state’s income taxes. Today they pay less than 5 percent. That burden has, by-in-large, been picked up by working families and small business owners.

    What Lars doesn’t want you to know is that the investment he is talking about never happens, at least not in Oregon. Historically more than 80 percent of corporate kicker money leaves Oregon.

  • Jerry

    Good – it should leave Oregon – it is not Oregon’s money.
    This is very, very good news.

  • Sal Peralta


    I first got this idea from observing politics in Utah. Utah is a very fiscally conservative state, but a long time ago, they recognized the wisdom of putting excess revenue into a strategic reserve with strict rules that prevent the legislature from pulling money out.

    Frankly, we could learn a great deal about tax policy by studying the strengths and weaknesses of Utah’s tax policy. A big weakness is their high sales tax. A big strength is their state’s strategic reserve.

    Providing similar stability in Oregon would be a selling point to attract businesses into the state, not a weakness.

    Most business owners understand that, even if Lars and Don McIntyre don’t.

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