SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon taxpayers will see the largest-ever state income tax refund next year, thanks to state revenue coming in at more than 9% above projections, state economists said Wednesday.
They say the top 1% of taxpayers can expect refunds of $15,214, while the median refund will be $346.
The average payout to all taxpayers is expected to be $739.
A total of more than $1.57 billion is expected to flow back to personal income taxpayers after they file their 2019 returns.
That compares to a refund projection in May of a little more than $1.4 billion.
The latest tally given to lawmakers continues a trend over the past two years, as state tax revenue outpaces expectations, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported .
Money flowing into the state’s general and lottery funds came in $2.6 billion above what officials expected in 2017. That created a situation where Oregon reserve funds are at an all-time high — at more than $3.7 billion — even as economists warn of a possible economic slowdown on the horizon.
Oregon’s unique refund policy also means the state can’t use all of the unexpected money.
Under state law, a “kicker” is triggered whenever actual personal income tax receipts come in at least 2% higher than initial projections. In such cases, any money collected above initial forecasts flows back to taxpayers in the form of tax credits.
The unprecedented revenues have roots in a number of factors, including federal tax changes that led businesses to put off paying taxes until this year and ratcheting up corporate tax receipts by around 50%. Economists say those impacts are likely short-term.
“Even without a recession, we’re expecting that it’s going to be hard to match the revenue we saw in the last biennium,” state economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers on the House and Senate revenue committees.
Information from: KOPB-FM, http://news.opb.org