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Oregon’s tax revenue forecast exceeds expectations; 2024 kicker projection swells to $3.9 billion

Oregon Capitol
KTVZ file
Oregon Capitol

Sen. Knopp bill would make the refund a check -- not a tax credit

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s tax revenue forecast has jumped again, potentially giving state lawmakers more money to spend in the next budget and driving up the likely state income tax rebate that taxpayers could receive next year, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday.

State economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers Wednesday that income taxes paid by individuals and corporations continue to outstrip economists’ expectations. But the state has only begun to receive a “trickle” of tax returns and tax payments so there's little solid information, McMullen said. The next revenue forecast in May will provide a sharper focus and state lawmakers will base their 2023-2025 budget on that.

“There is a significant amount of additional resources that will be available for policymakers as they craft the next biennial budget,” McMullen said. “That said, there’s still a tremendous amount of uncertainty out there.”

The state of Oregon is now expected to send nearly $4 billion back to taxpayers next year, as forecast revenues continue to soar past economist’s initial expectations, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

State economists bumped up their prediction for general fund and lottery revenues in the current budget cycle by nearly $500 million, according to a document from the Legislative Revenue Office.

The latest predicted state revenue bump could help erase a budget shortfall of $560 million forecast by budget analysts in December.

In the big picture, economists expect Oregon lawmakers will have $3 billion less general fund and lottery revenue to spend in the next two years than they had available in the current budget cycle, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Gov. Tina Kotek said in a statement Wednesday that “the Legislature still has some tough choices to make."

"We will have to keep focused and stay the course in order to make much-needed investments in Oregonians’ most urgent shared priorities: housing and homelessness, behavioral health, and education,” Kotek said.

At the last state revenue and economic forecast released in November, state economists estimated the kicker rebate to be paid out as tax credits in 2024 could be around $3.7 billion. Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp, of Bend, has proposed legislation to issue the kicker to taxpayers as checks this year. Senate President Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, said that idea was a nonstarter.

The next quarterly state revenue forecast is due out in May and will play a major role in final negotiations for the 2023-25 biennial budget before lawmakers adjourn the session.

Governor Tina Kotek issues statement in response to first revenue forecast of 2023 
Salem, OR - Today, Governor Tina Kotek made the following statement in response to the first state revenue forecast of 2023. 

“As inflation continues to slow, this revenue forecast shows that we can anticipate having more predictability and stability for the coming budget cycle. While this is encouraging news, the legislature still has some tough choices to make. We will have to keep focused and stay the course in order to make much-needed investments in Oregonians’ most urgent shared priorities: housing and homelessness, behavioral health, and education.”

House Republican Leader Statement on Quarterly Revenue Forecast

SALEM, OR –House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) issued the following statement upon the release of today’s quarterly revenue and economic forecast:

“The quarterly revenue forecast revealed our state’s economy and revenue influx is stable. However, we must not forget the reality Oregonians are experiencing on a daily basis – inflation at a rate of over 8 percent, gas at nearly 4 dollars a gallon, and a dozen eggs which cost even more than that ($5.22).

“The State of Oregon experienced a historic infusion of federal funding, but Oregonians and the Legislature must face the reality that these funds have ended. For the remainder of the 2023 Legislative Session, we must pursue fiscal responsibility which includes leaving our Education Stability Fund (ESF) and rainy-day funds (RDF) alone.

“We must return Oregon’s ‘kicker’ back into the hands of hardworking Oregonians. While my Pendleton friends would say “let er’ buck,” I say “let er’ kick.”

Senator Knopp Responds to Quarterly Revenue Forecast,

Introduces Bill Returning Kicker as a Check

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Oregon’s economists projected that Oregon budgets will have record-breaking surpluses, much of which will be returned to taxpayers based on how much they paid in taxes.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) made the following statement:

“While Oregonians still face high costs of food, fuel, child care, and rent – all of which are necessary to live, work, and raise a family – the state continues to bring in record revenue. Thanks to the Personal Kicker, Oregon taxpayers will get some of their taxes back and with it, a well-deserved break from the persisting burden of inflation and high costs.

Yesterday I introduced Senate Bill 990, a bill that would return the next Kicker in the form of a check instead of a credit. I urge members of all parties in both chambers to support this critical bill to expedite relief to working Oregonians.”

SB 990 is part of the Senate Republican Caucus’s Equitable Oregon agenda. It can be found under ‘Saving Oregonians from Rising Inflation & Increased Cost of Living.’

Article Topic Follows: AP - Oregon-Northwest

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