Oregon Has Started Sending Stimulus Checks to Low-Income Residents – Over 200,000 Oregon residents began receiving $600 stimulus checks this week.
The payments come after the state legislature approved a one-time stimulus check payment for some low-income workers across the state back in March. Under the scheme, Oregon residents who claimed Earned Income Tax Credit in 2020, which is a statewide tax relief scheme for low-income workers, will be eligible to claim the latest stimulus payment.
According to the Oregon Department of Revenue, roughly 245,000 Oregonians will be eligible for the check, and just one payment will be made per household.
According to the program’s website, a household will be considered a “single individual, or spouses, domestic partners, or a parent and child under 18 years who live together, along with other individuals for whom the single individual, spouse, domestic partner, or parent is financially responsible.”
House Bill 4157 passed in both chambers of the Oregon state legislature by large margins, with some Republicans siding with Democrats in backing the bill.
Stimulus Checks: Are You Eligible?
To be eligible for the one-time payment, you must not only have received the Earned Income Tax Credit for your 2020 tax filing, but you must have also lived in Oregon for the last six months of 2020.
How Is the Stimulus Checks Paid?
Payments will be made directly into the bank accounts of some 136,640 recipients. A further 99,647 checks will be mailed to eligible recipients.
If you will receive the payment via direct deposit, you should expect some mail from the state government explaining how you will receive the payment and when you should expect the payment.
This accounts to roughly $82 million in direct bank account transfers and almost $60 million in mailed checks.
How the Scheme Works
Anybody who is eligible to receive the stimulus money should receive their payment by July 31.
The payments will not be subject to either state or federal income tax, and recipients may use the funds however they please.
The money has been allocated from funds provided to the state by the federal government, courtesy of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.
If you think you are eligible for the payment but do not receive anything in the coming weeks and months, you may contact the Oregon Department of Revenue on an email line made specifically for this purpose.
Contact the local government at [email protected] with any questions you may have about the stimulus.
A Bad Idea?
While it might seem like a good idea in the short term, many experts worry that a new round of checks could make the inflation problems the nation faces at the moment even worse than they already are.
“Last year, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, together with the Fed’s ultra-loose monetary policy, contributed to economic overheating and to an acceleration in consumer price inflation to 8 ½ percent or to its highest level since 1982,” explained Dr. Desmond Lachman, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the former deputy director in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Policy Development and Review Department. Dr. Lachman is a regular contributor to 19FortyFive.
“In the same way that an irresponsibly excessive budget stimulus was an important part of last year’s inflation problem, this year a more responsible budget policy should be part of inflation’s solution. That would reduce at least some pressure on the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates to bring inflation back under control.”
Lachman noted that “[T]he states could play an important part in fighting inflation by foregoing spending in the form of new stimulus checks of the excess money that they have left over from last year’s American Rescue Plan.”
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.