May Oregon revenue forecast: $473 million kicker expected


by NW Spotlight

Oregon’s quarterly revenue forecast (for May) came out today with some very good news. General fund revenues are up and it is expected that there will be a $473 million personal income tax kicker. The forecast notes “Due to actions taken by the 2011 Legislature, this potential kicker payment will take the form of a credit on 2015 tax returns rather than being issued as a check at the end of the year.”

The Oregonian reports “Even after the rebate, economists expect fast-growing revenues will send $463 million more to the state’s general fund,” and “the income increase will allow the state to pump an additional $105 million to the state school fund, bringing the total school budget to an unprecedented $7.36 billion.” The Oregonian added “The new figure still falls short of what school advocates had been pushing for. An alternative proposal backed by Republican lawmakers and teacher unions would have raised the school budget to $7.56 billion.”

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) released the following statement regarding today’s May revenue forecast. Additional revenue from the forecast will trigger a kicker of $478 million, with the average Oregon family receiving $284 back from the kicker.

“A $478 million kicker is the best economic stimulus package that Oregonians could hope for,” said Senator Ferrioli. “The kicker must be returned to taxpayers at all possible dispatch so they can invest, spend or save as they choose. With nearly $1.75 billion in new revenue this budget cycle, we can fully fund education and provide for all the needs of Oregonians without new taxes.”

House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) issued the following statement regarding today’s revenue forecast:

“Today’s revenue forecast is welcome news and an optimistic sign that Oregon’s economy is continuing to grow. After many years of economic hardship and sacrifice following the Great Recession, hard-working Oregonians will receive much-needed tax relief through this $478 million individual income tax kicker.

“Despite nearly $1.75 billion in additional revenue available for this budget, legislative Democrats have somehow managed to underfund our schools while also jeopardizing our roads, bridges and public safety. The Legislature doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a leadership and priorities problem. The recent calls from legislative Democrats to overturn or suspend the voter-approved kicker law are predictable and disappointing. Oregon taxpayers know how to spend their money better than we do.”

The Oregonian also pointed out “the kicker’s actual size won’t be known until August, after the state’s fiscal year ends June 30 and revenues are finalized.”