Oregon 'kicker law' triggered amid budget shortfall

Oregon State Capitol fountain (KATU)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State economists say the Oregon economy has been bustling this year, so much so that the state's 'kicker law' may give $408 million back to Oregonians next year, plus another $75 million to K-12 education for the next budget cycle.

The kicker is not certain yet, but it's likely, because the local economy continues to outpace growth projections for state revenue, which could reach a new record next biennium of about $21 billion.

But that won't do much to help the upcoming budget shortfall, economists said Tuesday. If the kicker does get triggered, it'll leave just $189 million in extra revenue for the 2017-19 budget — narrowing the deficit from $1.6 billion to $1.4 billion. Without the kicker, the shortfall would shrink to $1 billion.

Under Oregon's "kicker" law, if state revenues exceed forecasted revenues by 2 percent or more over the two-year budget cycle the excess is returned to taxpayers through a credit.

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