SALEM -- Oregon experienced continued growth in jobs, household incomes and tax revenue in the last months of 2013, but some lawmakers worry that the growth in tax revenue could trigger a taxpayer refund.
According to an economic forecast released by the State of Oregon Wednesday, the state added 26,300 jobs over the past year. While growth in several key economic indicators and industrial sectors remained flat, the state predicted continued growth in private sector employment for the next two to three years.
The state anticipated personal incomes to increase by 4.8 percent in 2014.
State Economist Mark McMullen told lawmakers Thursday that Oregon's economic recovery is starting to reach rural areas and more industries.
Officials predicted that revenue forecast for the state would be on target if the legislature hadn't changed tax policies. Oregon legislators raised taxes in September by nicking the wealthy and corporations, but learned Thursday that new money coming in may be offset by kicker tax rebates in 2015 that would go to all individual taxpayers.
State economists told a legislative committee the latest revenue estimates are halfway to the threshold that would trigger the kicker rebates.
Those rebates are paid when tax collections exceed projections by at least 2 percent.
Democratic State Sen. Ginny Burdick called it worrisome that the state faces the prospect of a kicker just as we're getting some level of stability in our education system. But she said there's time for the legislature to make adjustments.