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"Kicker" tax passes, schools uncertain of results

Oregon voters partially dismantled Measure 85 — known as the tax kicker — this election season. The measure diverts corporate kicker revenue into a special fund for public schools instead of rebating the money to companies, yet school districts are uncertain how much, and when the measure’s passage might affect school budgets.

Under Oregon state law, if state income tax collections exceed revenue projections by 2 percent or more over a two-year span, then the state must rebate the surplus to corporations.

Now that Measure 85 has passed, Oregon residents will continue to receive individual personal income tax kicker rebates, but refunds that would have previously gone to corporations, will go to a special fund for public schools. Corporate refunds averaged approximately $120 million every two years.

Doug Middlestetter, business manager for the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, said passage of ballot Measure 85 seems to acknowledge the need for help for Oregon’s education funding.

“However, the state has not had revenue growth enough to trigger the kicker since 2007,” he added. “It may be awhile before ballot Measure 85 provisions even become applicable.”

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