SALEM, Oregon – The Trump tax cuts have turned into a big surprise for the state of Oregon. Tax revenues are $870 million higher than expected. Economist Mark McMullen said that increases the kicker fund that is earmarked to be paid back to taxpayers.
“This will be the largest kicker on record at $1.4 billion,” he said.
Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) thinks the kicker, which he called “a historic windfall,” should be used to help pay off the Public Employees Retirement System growing unfunded liability.
Gov. Kate Brown also has plans for the money that don’t include the taxpayers. In a release from her office, she is quoted as saying it could be used for housing, foster care, state police, and higher education.
Republicans are saying no. The money needs to be returned to the taxpayers.
“While it is encouraging to hear that Oregon’s economy remains strong, the pace of our economic growth continues to decline,” Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) stated. “Going forward, we must use discretion in our spending and be fiscally conservative with every tax dollar paid by hard-working Oregonians.”
Smith is the chairman of the House Republican Budget Committee, and serves as vice co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee.