Consumers who have a hard time making ends meet due to the highest inflation rate in 40 years could get help thanks to federal and state legislation that would send rebates, stimulus checks or other financial relief to Americans.
Many of the packages either approved or under consideration target specific people rather than the general population, which makes them different from previous stimulus programs, Forbes reported. They also involve much smaller dollar amounts — mainly as a way to prevent inflation from worsening by putting more money into a market where supply already lags demand.
“Plans focused on specific sectors or groups, such as gas cards or disbursements based on income thresholds, in theory could help ease the pain caused by prices of specific goods or services…without putting as much pressure on prices more broadly,” Andrew Patterson, senior international economist at Vanguard, told Forbes.
One proposal, called the Gas Rebate Act of 2022, was recently introduced by a trio of U.S. House members: Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.). It would send energy rebate payments of $100 a month to eligible taxpayers and offer an additional $100 per dependent.
Under this proposal, full payments would go to married couples filing jointly with annual incomes up to $150,000 and single filers earning up to $75,000. Those with higher incomes would get reduced payments. However, the legislation needs to pass Congress, which might be tough going considering many lawmakers prefer to end COVID-era stimulus payments.
At the state level, here are proposals that have already been approved by legislatures, as reported by Forbes:
- Idaho: Last month, Gov. Brad Little signed a bill to provide $350 million for tax rebates to residents. Payments will be sent to full-time Idaho residents who filed 2020 and 2021 tax returns and full-time Idaho residents who filed grocery-credit refund returns.
- Georgia: Eligible residents who have filed their 2021 and 2022 tax returns will receive rebates based on filing status. The rebates range from $250 for single filers to $500 for joint filers. Those who have yet to file and do so by the April 18 deadline could receive their rebates in their tax refunds.
- Indiana: Indiana taxpayers will receive a one-time, $125 refund after they file their 2021 income tax returns. Gov. Eric Holcomb announced the measure in December 2021.
- New Jersey: Last fall, Gov. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers greenlighted a proposal to send one-time rebates of up to $500 to almost 1 million eligible households. Taxpayers who file using a taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number could also see a $500 one-time rebate.
- New Mexico: Earlier this month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed measures to provide New Mexico taxpayers with a one-time, $250 rebate. Married couples filing jointly will receive $500. The income eligibility threshold is $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.
Here’s a look at other states that have legislation under consideration.
- California: Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed spending up to $9 billion to offer gas rebates to residents. If state lawmakers approve the proposal, checks could go out within the next few months. Eligibility would be based on vehicle registration instead of tax filings and income.
- Hawaii: Gov. David Ige wants to send a $100 tax rebate to all Hawaii taxpayers plus $100 for each dependent. The proposal is still being considered by the state legislature.
- Kentucky: The Kentucky Senate legislature approved $1 billion in rebates for taxpayers. If the measure makes it into law, the state will send a one-time rebate of $500 to eligible individuals and up to $1,000 to eligible households.
- Maine: Gov. Janet Mills has proposed sending one-time rebate checks of $850 to eligible residents. If approved, checks could be mailed in June.
- Minnesota: Gov. Tim Walz has proposed sending tax rebate checks of $500 per taxpayer. For now, lawmakers are split on who should receive the checks.
- New York: Under Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal, property owners outside of New York City would receive an average rebate of $970, while New York City owners would get average rebates of $425.
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