Keep The Kicker

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Oregonians learned earlier today that they may be up for another kicker.  And the progressive Oregon Center for Public Policy is already bitching about “lost revenue.”

“Should it come to pass, this unanticipated, automatic tax cut would cost the state about $400 million at a time when Oregon schools and essential services are at risk from budget cuts and suffer from long-term underfunding,” the Center said in an e-mail blast.

“Lost revenue?” “Cost the state?” Give me a break.

It’s not the state’s money. It’s yours. But progressives keep finding reasons to take it away.

In 2015, when an improving economy triggered a “kicker” rebate of about $400 million, State Rep. Tobias Read, D-Beaverton, sponsored a bill that would have diverted half of that $400 million to education and half to the state’s general reserve. Fortunately, Read’s bill didn’t get a committee hearing.

According to The Oregonian, Sen. Alan DeBoer, R-Ashland, plans to introduce a bill to redirect the kicker to K-12 education. If it passes, voters will make the final decision.

Oregonians already made it perfectly clear what they think of this idea. In 2016, Oregon taxpayers were given an opportunity to donate their kicker rebate to the state’s Common School Fund when they filled out their tax forms. Hardly any did. At one point, records showed fewer than one-half of one percent of taxpayers were choosing to do so. Hardly a magnanimous endorsement of the idea.

The state got itself into a real mess with its constant spending increases and ever-expanding pension obligations. Don’t let that be an excuse for ending the kicker.

 

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