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Oregon Economists Predicting 'Likely' Kicker


Oregon taxpayers could receive an unexpected windfall next year.

It's looking more likely that the state's unique “kicker” rebate will be triggered. That's according to a revenue forecast issued Thursday by state economists.

Strong job growth has led to a rapid increase in state income tax collections. Oregon's state economist Mark McMullen told a panel of lawmakers that it's good news.

But he added, ”Unfortunately the additional economic growth doesn't translate into additional resources and an easier job for legislative budget writers."

That's because of the kicker. When income tax revenues exceed projections by more than two percent, the Oregon constitution requires all of the excess be returned to taxpayers.

Last time the median kicker per taxpayer was $295 from a total overall kicker of about $1 billion. This time the rebate “pool” is projected to be about one-third of that -- and Oregon has more taxpayers eligible for potential refunds.

The final determination on whether there will be a kicker will come this summer.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.