SALEM &

Kicker checks were in the mailbox last weekend for most Oregonians.




The state sent out more than 1.6 million of the income tax "kicker" rebate checks in time for holiday shopping and bills.




But some Oregonians decided to donate their share of the record $1.07 billion in rebates, officials said.




Nearly 12,000 gave their rebates to the State School Fund, a collective $6.7 million contribution.




It was twice as many people &

and nine times as much money &

donated to the State School Fund in 2001, the last time there were personal tax rebates, said Rosemary Hardin, Oregon Department of Revenue spokeswoman.




Some checks apparently didn't make it, or were smaller than expected. By Monday afternoon, nearly 3,700 folks had called the Oregon Revenue Department with kicker-related queries, Hardin said.




Most of the calls were from people notifying the state of address changes in order to get their checks. Others wanted to know why the state deducted some of their rebates to offset past taxes or other outstanding debts.




Some forgot they had checked off on their 2006 tax returns that they wanted their kicker rebate to go to the schools fund, Hardin said.




But "once they check that box, it's irrevocable under Oregon law," she said.




Others called to say "thank you" for the money. The state never reveals in advance when it sends the checks, for security reasons. But word spread fast when the checks arrived, because they were the largest dollar-wise since Oregon enacted its unique kicker rebate law in 1979.




The refunds are required when revenues for the two-year budget cycle flow in at more than 2 percent higher than the amount projected before the biennium.




Hardin said the revenue department staggered the mailing of checks across the state in an attempt to assure most or all arrived on Saturday, when most people are home and the chances are better that the money will arrive safely.




""""""




Information from: Statesman Journal, http:www.statesmanjournal.com