Oregon to Issue Record $5.6 Billion in “Kicker” Returns to Taxpayers

Oregon’s anticipated kicker fund for the year 2024 shows its value has increased from approximately $3 billion in May 2022 to $5.5 billion a year later. The latest projections, unveiled today, now elevate the fund’s value even further, reaching $5.6 billion.

This growth translates into good news for the average Oregonian. As per forecasts presented by state economists, the median resident of Oregon can expect a $980 rebate upon filing their taxes in the coming year. On average, individuals will receive a kicker rebate of around $2,100. This marks a significant shift from the highest recorded average kicker, standing at $914 back in 2020. It’s worth noting that the average kicker for 2022 likely surpassed this figure due to the surplus in that specific biennium.

The kicker rebate’s allocation remains proportional to one’s income tax liability. Meaning, higher-earning Oregonians are poised to receive larger rebates next year.

The most recent expansion in the kicker fund can be traced back to a more substantial ending balance than initially forecasted. As state accountants finalize the books for the 2021-23 biennium, those numbers have led to the revised projections.

Oregon’s kicker rebate operates on a biennial cycle, with rebates being distributed during even-numbered years, corresponding to the tax filing for the preceding odd-numbered year. The rationale behind this schedule is rooted in the state’s two-year budget cycle. However, it’s important to note that the rebate may not be issued every cycle. Rather, it comes into effect only when general fund revenues at the biennium’s conclusion exceed the state economists’ initial predictions by at least 2%.

The recent economic forecast also sheds light on changes in the projected general fund resources for the 2023-25 biennium, particularly when compared to the previous forecast released in June. This updated forecast, referred to as a “close-of-session” report, encompasses modifications enacted during the 2023 legislative session and provides a comprehensive overview of the previous biennium, which concluded in June.

Included within the report is a detailed breakdown of projected kicker amounts, categorized by income bracket. These estimates are based on 2020 tax data and provide insight into the varied impact of the kicker rebate across different income levels. Please note that these are not official amounts at this time.

While legislative changes resulted in a reduction of approximately $48.6 million in projected general fund revenue for the upcoming biennium, Oregon continued to reap the rewards of higher-than-expected revenue from corporate income taxes. This influx is responsible for a net increase of $437 million.

Today, Governor Tina Kotek issued a statement in response to the quarterly revenue forecast: 

“This revenue forecast provides encouraging news about the state’s economic stability. We must leverage the opportunity presented by another positive forecast to invest in housing production and other urgent needs to support Oregon families and the state’s long-term economic growth.”

You can read the report, in its entirety, by following this link.

Source: State of Oregon

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