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Tue Feb 5, 2019, 06:13 AM

Oregon lawmakers want to divert likely $700M 'kicker' rebate to pensions

A pair of Democratic lawmakers in the Oregon Legislature want to divert the state’s unique “kicker” tax rebate on a one-time basis to help tackle the state’s public pension crisis.

Oregon taxpayers are currently on track to receive $724 million worth of kicker rebates when they file their income taxes in 2020. Under a plan co-sponsored by Sen. Kathleen Taylor of Portland and Rep. Karin Power of Milwaukie, that money would instead go into an account created by Gov. Kate Brown to encourage local governments to pour more money into the underfunded pension system.

So far, it’s one of the more substantial proposals to address Oregon’s pension problems this session. The governor and leaders in the Democratically controlled Legislature have pitched few major ideas on the topic to date and may not sign onto the pension fixes being offered by Republicans.

If state economists’ predictions hold, the kicker tax credits to be issued next year would be the largest in dollar terms in more than a decade, according to the state Office of Economic Analysis. The median taxpayer in Oregon with an adjusted gross income of about $35,000 could get a $174 credit. However, most of the benefit goes to the state’s highest-income households, who pay the most taxes. The top 1 percent, who bring in more than $401,000, could cut their tax bills by roughly $7,175, economists predicted.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2019/02/oregon-lawmakers-want-to-divert-likely-700m-kicker-rebate-to-pensions.html

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