The Senate Interim Finance and Revenue Committee and the House Interim Revenue Committee met with representatives of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis on Wednesday.
State economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner told the legislators that the data for Oregon and the U.S. look strong, with no real concerns.
The forecast for the 2017-19 general fund is down $21.1 million from the close-of-session forecast, but increases in lottery revenue and other offsets put the state’s total resources $84.2 million above the close-of-session forecast. Employment is slowing but still growing faster than in the rest of the country, according to McMullen. Migration is helping Oregon maintain the population growth necessary for economic expansion.
The federal tax law before Congress could increase Oregon’s tax income by $150 million to $250 million a year, according to McMullen. Oregon tax law is tied to federal tax law. The proposed federal tax changes would lower how much Oregonians can write off their state taxes, increasing collections for Oregon. If nothing else changes, that could be enough to trigger the kicker in two years.
The Office of Economic Analysis issues the Oregon Revenue Forecast four times a year: March, June, September and December.