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Oregon measures 66 and 67 prompts call for "kicker" reform

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January 29, 2010

Gov. Ted Kulongoski calls for "kicker" reform

SALEM, Oregon: Immediately following the approval of Measures 66 & 67 Gov. Ted Kulongoski urged lawmakers to ask voters in the statewide general election to divert part of excess tax collections into a state reserve fund. "It's time to say enough to budgeting from crisis to crisis, enough to additional tax increases — and enough to a lack of stability in our budgeting process," said the governor. In other words, the governor called for part of the "kicker surplus" to be directed to a state reserve fund. The "kicker" was added to the Oregon Constitution in 2000.[1] However, the "kicker" has been in state law since 1979. After a two-year budget cycle, revenues in excess of 2% or more of the end-of-session projections are used for rebates to Oregon households. A corporate ticker follows the same logic.[2]

Details for establishing a state reserve fund include reverting to a rebate of the entire surplus once the reserve fund reaches a certain level. The proposed level is 10% of the general fund. Additionally, "emergency-only" rules would be created for the reserve fund. If the legislature approves the governor's proposal the issue will be presented before voters on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot.[3]

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