Stimulus Checks are Back in Some States: While the chances of a fourth round of federal COVID stimulus payments are slim to none, state legislators across the country are voting in favor of stimulus checks and rebate packages designed to relieve some pressure for millions of households hit by rising inflation.
From child tax rebates to stimulus checks, governors and state legislators are using this year’s budget surpluses and money made available by the American Rescue Plan Act to give back to taxpayers.
In June, Democratic governor of California Gavin Newsome announced that 20 million Californians would receive a fresh round of stimulus payments worth up to $1,050.
Under the proposal, which comes as part of an “inflation relief package,” Californians earning less than $75,000 would receive $250, those earning up to $125,000 will receive $250, and those earning up to $250,000 will receive $200.
Payments increased to $1,050 for joint tax filers with at least one dependent.
In May, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that the Department of Revenue would begin distributing one-time tax refunds worth up to $250.
“Due to years of responsible, conservative budgeting and our measured reopening that prioritized protecting both lives and livelihoods, Georgia is in a position to issue these one-time refunds,” Kemp said in a May press release.
Under the program, single filers could receive up to $250 and joint filers may receive up to $500.
Hawaii residents can expect to see rebates of up to $300 this year.
State residents who reported less than $100,000 in income on their 2021 tax returns will receive rebates worth $300, while taxpayers who reported more than $100,000 in 2021 will receive $100.
The rebates were approved in April.
In April, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a budget that will deliver a total of $1.8 billion in tax relief for families across the country. The fiscal year 2024 budget also allocated funding for human services, law enforcement, and funding for education.
“This budget continues us down the path of financial surety, invests in critical resources like public safety and human services, and helps ease the burden of inflation for families with $1.8 billion in tax relief,” House Speaker Emanuel Welch said of the package.
The individual payments that will be made to taxpayers in Illinois, however, are relatively small.
Illinois residents who made less than $200,000 in 2021 will receive $50 tax rebates, while couples filing jointly who earned less than $400,000 will receive $100. Any tax filer will also receive $100 per dependent claimed on their 2021 taxes, up to a maximum of three.
Beginning in May, Indiana residents started receiving payments of $125. The tax rebates were not dependent on income, unlike many other states issuing stimulus checks. Instead, every single resident of the state will receive the payment regardless of their income under the state’s automatic taxpayer refund (ATR) law.
The official website of the Indiana state government states that the first and largest round of ATR direct deposits in May, and issued the third round of direct deposits on July 1.
“DOR will continue to issue ATRs by direct deposit whenever possible (see below) as individual tax returns are received and processed,” a statement reads, adding that 1.5 million ATR payments have been issued to 2 million taxpayers as of July 6.
New York homeowners will also receive a one-time property tax rebate this year.
Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul brought forward the payments this year, providing “much-needed tax relief for. Thousands of small businesses and millions of New Yorkers.”
Checks were initially expected to begin reaching mailboxes by late June and early July, but reports revealed how the Department of Taxation and Finance was well ahead of schedule right as voters went to the polls in the Democrat and Republican gubernatorial primary elections.
Under the scheme, which was announced in April, homeowners will receive a total of $2.2 billion in tax relief.
Hundreds of thousands of families on Oregon began receiving tax rebate payments in late June, thanks to new state legislation designed to help the lowest-paid workers in the state.
Under the law, over 236,000 families will receive direct deposits or paper checks. Residents who have lived in the state for the final six months of 2020 and who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit will be eligible for the payments. Single tax filers must have earned less than $16,000 to receive the payments, while married couples who file jointly and have three or more children must have earned below $57,000.
Over 136,000 Oregon residents will receive payments worth $600, while an additional 99,000 will receive paper checks.
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.