Yes, we should make the kicker better

Reagan Knopp2_thb

by Reagan Knopp

This week, the Oregon Legislature adjourned Sine Die. Many were surprised that the kicker did not receive any significant changes. Many strongly believe the kicker law — which returns excess revenue collect by the state to taxpayers — is outdated and needs to be fixed in order for it work better for middle class Oregonians. They’re right.

The personal income tax kicker has not seen significant revision since 2011. That session, the legislature changed the kicker into a credit that filers must claim on their taxes. Previously, income tax filers directly received a check from the State of Oregon.

The 2011 revision now disproportionately favors those who can afford professionals to ensure that their taxes are filed correctly to receive their kicker. Meanwhile, many Oregonians have expressed confusion about what year and what forms they must file in order to receive their check. This will delay kicker checks for many and some may miss out altogether.

The kicker has a two-fold purpose. First, the kicker protects Oregonians from unsustainable government expansion. Second, it returns taxpayer money to the taxpayer, giving them more money in their pockets.

Making the kicker work for all Oregonians means helping guarantee they get their money. Sending it to them directly is the best way to ensure that happens. Let’s bring back the kicker check. Let’s make the kicker work better.