Revenue Forecast Shows Why Oregonians Need the Working Families Kicker

News Release
February 22, 2023

Statement by Alejandro Queral, Executive Director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, on the May 2023 Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast.

Today’s Oregon Economic and Revenue Forecast leaves little doubt that the “kicker” — an unplanned tax rebate favoring Oregon’s richest taxpayers — is on its way. If revenue collections come in as predicted, the kicker would reach $3.9 billion. While we don’t yet have information on the distribution of this kicker, its current structure dictates that the richest 1 percent will receive rebates in the tens of thousands of dollars, while the lowest-paid Oregonians will get almost nothing.

With many families struggling with stagnant wages and rising costs, it’s a mistake to send huge kicker rebates to the rich. Instead, the kicker should work for all Oregon families. That is why the 2023 Oregon legislature should vote to suspend the kicker, as the Oregon Constitution allows. It then should pass a bill to create a more just tax credit, the Working Families Kicker.

The Working Families Kicker would make a simple change to the current kicker law. Instead of doling out the kicker proportionately to tax liability, the kicker would be sent out in equal amounts to all tax filers.

This simple change would increase the kicker for most Oregonians and make a big difference for those struggling to make ends meet. Under the Working Families Kicker, a majority of Oregon tax filers would get a bigger kicker than they would under the current system.

The Oregon Center for Public Policy is a non-partisan research institute with a mission to achieve economic justice for all Oregonians through research, analysis, and advocacy.