Property tax author asks ‘Why can’t we take a billion from Kicker’?

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

The author of the Statewide Property Tax measure HJR 201, State Representative Paul Evans, testified in defense of his new tax idea and asked a very important question.

Representative Evans said at yesterday’s HJR 201 hearing, “We just had a $5.6 billion dollar Kicker that we gave back. Some people say live within your means and we just give it back. We [lawmakers] couldn’t even find a billion to put in a trust fund…”.

Oregon State Representative Paul Evans sincerely wants a billion more for a trust fund and wants the people’s Kicker Tax Refund to pay for it, or at least a billion dollars of it.

This is an important, honest and sincere question.

For the sake of friendly exchange of ideas here is the Taxpayers Association of Oregon’s answer:


Governor Tina Kotek found a spare $600 million last month from surplus funds (not related to Kicker).  Why take a billion from the  people’s Kicker Refund when the politicians just discovered a $600 million surplus a few weeks ago?

Why should Kotek’s newly discovered $600 million surplus be used for her plan to build private homes for people and subsidizing people’s rent when there are more important issues?

The People’s Kicker Tax Refund is 100% over-collected surplus funds that comes in AFTER the budget is closed.  The Kicker belongs to people who over-paid.  Why did lawmakers close the last budget cycle with record-breaking levels of new tax revenue if other issues Representative Paul Evans cares about (wildfire prevention/public safety) were left out?

Oregon consistently ranks in the top 5 biggest spending State Governments (per-capita) in America.  How is that Oregon cannot fund critical wildfire/public safety services if they have more money than 45 other states?

Why are seniors, the disabled, retirees and other home owners on limited income being asked to cough up an extra billion dollars in property taxes with HJR 201?   Instead of seniors, why instead shouldn’t Hollywood-style film production companies that gets tens of millions in tax cash handouts pay more?  Or the private luxury hotel owners that get tens of millions in government hand-outs?  Or paying hundreds of millions to experts to study a bridge that is never built?   When will politicians stop giving away our tax dollars in corporate welfare?

State Representative Paul Evans’ question is a great question.   Yet, if lawmakers ignore the clear answers, then the question will never be truly answered.   We think 1,270 Oregonians testifying against HJR 201 is a clear signal that Oregonians have the answer — and higher taxes is not among them.

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Note: State Representative Paul Evans Testimony on the question can be found House Committee On Rules 02/13/2024 1:00 PM, video around 20:00 mark.