“Kicking” Education Funding Around―Why Measure 85 may not do what you think

This November, Oregon voters will be asked to direct a highly uncertain, highly volatile, and relatively small amount of income tax money into the state’s General Fund, supposedly to help school children.

If Measure 85 would surely benefit kids, we might have a serious debate about it. But it won’t.

Measure 85 was placed on the ballot by several public employee unions. It would take any future corporate kicker money from businesses that paid those taxes and redirect it into the state’s General Fund to “…provide additional funding for public education, kindergarten through twelfth grade.”

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    I would think the public employee unions will be successful with this one. They have gotten incredibly good at pitting one group against another and reaping the profits for themselves. Will people fall for it again this time? I think so. When two groups are pitted against each other, and one group is convinced by the public employee unions it wont cost them anything, but will hurt the despised group, people go for it. Witness measure 67 and 68. In the meantime public employees rake it in an laugh.

    • Steve Buckstein

      I can’t disagree with your analysis, Rupert. Hopefully though, if the group that thinks this measure won’t cost them anything looks one or two steps ahead they will realize that they are a future target. And that group, most personal income taxpayers, can easily defeat Measure 85.

  • David from Mill City

    Oregon’s Tax Kicker has got to be one of the most nonsensible
    tax provisions in the nation. Under it
    you get a reduction in your state income taxes, which were calculated based on
    current tax laws and regulations, because a government employee underestimated
    the amount of revenue that Oregon’s current income tax laws and regulations
    would generate during the next two year budget cycle. We just need to eliminate
    it, either through repeal (the best way) or by getting a state economist that
    understands that he needs to overestimate (i.e. when doubt, round up) tax
    revenues.

    If you think that the taxes you are paying or that the government
    has too much money then cut programs and then address the tax code directly.

    Just remember calling for
    reduced taxes is easy, it is cutting government to make the tax cuts responsible
    is the hard task and cutting taxes without cutting government is irresponsible.

    • Marvin McConoughey

      Oregon’s tax kicker is one of the very few times that Oregonians actually get part of their tax dollars returned to them. The personal kicker can provide money to help pay college tuition for children, meet medical bills, and put a bit of unexpected money aside for family emergencies. The average annual government income tax revenue cost since its inception has been in the three percent range. Since it comes only with an unexpectedly large tax take by the government, it is hard to argue that government suffers any great revenue shock. When enemies of the corporate kicker kill it, they will turn next to the personal income tax kicker.

  • John Fairplay

    I think it’s fair to say that voters should have some skepticism about the claim that “kept” corporate kicker funds will be used for education. Our Oregon promised the same thing about Measures 66 & 67, which are still in force as we have some of the largest reductions in staffing at public schools in the history of the state. If Our Oregon lied about 66 & 67, how do we know they aren’t lying now?

  • mike

    I think it is fair to say these union thugs run our state. So what’s to stop them? Nothing.