In defense of the people’s Kicker Tax Refund

By Richard Leonetti,

Daniel Hauser (Make the Kicker Work for all Oregonians — as he advocates for putting the people’s kicker into a rainy day slush fund ) completely misunderstands the Kicker: it does work for all taxpayers.

The Legislature sets a spending budget that is always higher than the current budget. It usually requires higher fees and taxes which they proceed to raise. When the revenues come in above what was planned, and it was spectacularly higher last year, they immediately start rooting around for ways to spend the windfall. The Kicker simply says you raised the fees more than needed so give it back to the Taxpayers in proportion to what they each paid. It can’t go into a so called Rainy Day Fund because it always starts to “rain” and they spend it anyway. Most importantly, the windfall cannot be left in the current budget because it then becomes a higher starting point for the next budget plan, and the budgets and taxes grow exponentially.

The Kicker is a small, but vital, Taxpayer Protection provision.