Thursday, January 28, 2010

taxes: thank you for the candy... now gimme another piece

the Oregonian --

The day after Oregon voters approved measure 66 and 67, Ted "tax and gouge me" Kulongoski, says it's time to re-look at the kicker [which refunds money to individuals and corporate taxpayers when state revenue exceeds projections by 2% or more] and that he is going to consider the kicker reform his top priority for the month-long legislation session that will start Monday. Kulongoski suggested that if lawmakers don't do something about the kicker, he'd use his authority to order them back to Salem until they do.

"As much as the Legislature can call itself into session, I can call them into session," he said. "This is one of those critical points in Oregon history where we have to make a decision on this."

Kulongoski suggested the first 3% to 5% of the revenue above the forecast would be put away in what he calls the "emergency reserve fund" and any excess amounts over that would be refunded back to taxpayers. Once the fund is "full" roughly about $1 billion, the kicker would go back to working as usual.

"I am determined -- and there are others who feel the way I do -- that now is the time to do some serious reform of our unstable tax system," said Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, who chairs the Senate Revenue Committees "The measures we just passed are nothing more than a Band-Aid to solve a critical revenue shortfall from the recession."

Both Kulongoski and Burdick believe that it [the kicker] would give the state a cushion against the kind of revenue shortfalls that prompted the tax increases because without it, the state will continue on its "boom or bust" cycle.

Oregon kickers fund which was passed by the 1979 Oregon Legislature which requires the state to REFUND EXCESS REVENUE to taxpayer when actual general fund revenues include a forecast amount by more than 2%.

Now consider this...

The purpose of the kicker fund is to refund excess revenue to the taxpayers when actual general fund revenues EXCEED forecast by 2%

If the forecast for the general fund does not exceed 2% , then the kicker does not apply.

Okay, this is government, so follow along with me and see if I have this straight because I'm confused.

Measures 66 and 67 says that services could be cut because there's not enough money in the general fund. So we need a new source of stable revenue.

Kulongoski is concerned about the kicker because it will give money back to the taxpayers if general fund revenues exceed the forecast of 2% or greater.

If the state is constantly running in a deficit in the general fund, and then worrying about the kicker would not be a concern or a priority.

However, Kulongoski and others are concerned about the kicker which would therefore indicate that there is a surplus in the general fund, then why would we need to give them more money such as measures 66 and 67?

In either case, they say that schools and state services would be affected if they don't have these revenues, but how can that be if you're concerned about the kicker which should be refunding revenues over the forecasted revenues for the general fund?

So in either case, they say that schools and state would be affected if they do not have these revenues and that is why we should have both measures 66 and 67 and make changes to the kicker.

So roughly translated, "if I am lying and I tell you that I'm lying... and I'm telling you the truth... but I'm telling you the truth that I'm lying... then I'm lying..."

I have a headache and I'm going to go lie down.


Blogger OregonGuy said...


"A disproportionate share of the kicker is returned to those with the least need. The wealthy can afford to finally pay their fair share."

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