Few people like Oregon's system of taxation, which compared to other states is overly reliant on personal income taxes and contains unique wrinkles like the kicker.

A study earlier this year found that Oregon is more dependent on personal income taxes than any other state.

From a policy point of view, that dependence on personal taxes makes state revenue volatile and makes budgeting trickier than in states with greater revenue stability. which contributes to a roller coaster-like revenue picture and means lawmakers are more often in need of expert guidance here than in other states.

The man they've called on for 28 years, first as a state economist and for the past 18 years as the Oregon legislative revenue officer, is retiring at the end of November.

His name is Paul Warner. As the head of the non-partisan Legislative Revenue Office, it is Warner's job to figure out how much money the state will bring in and how various policy changes, laws and ballot members might affect revenues.

Warner's departure will mean a massive loss of institutional knowledge and a steadying presence in the Capitol.

He leaves at the same time as the lawmaker most knowledgeable about the budget: state Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin), the co-chair of the budget writing Joint Ways and Means Committee. Devlin is taking a job with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Warner says he's simply retiring to spend more time with his family.

State Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), the chairman of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee, has worked closely with Warner for years.

"Paul Warner is one of the most treasured people in state government," Hass says. "Gracious, kind and a talented. Everyone appreciated his evenhanded approach to working through difficult problems. His kind, helpful  demeanor is remarkably the same, whether he's talking to the governor, a legislator, an intern or a reporter. Oregon's government will not be the same without him. There are plenty of talented economists—but they will not fill his boots."