As we’ve said for a while now, stimulus checks this year are going to increasingly be a product of luck — with that luck mostly a function of where you live in the US. California, for example, is getting ready to potentially re-up its Golden State Stimulus program. And over on the other side of the country, one group in Florida is about to get a much-deserved additional stimulus check: Thousands of teachers, for the second year in a row.
The stimulus payment is a $1,000 bonus. And it comes in tandem with a reported increase in base teacher salaries, all of which is part of a new budget proposed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Bonus check for teachers
The bonus checks and salary bump were part of the budget plan DeSantis laid out in the fall, which lawmakers are working on now. And they’re possible, he said in a news conference at the time, because “Florida is clicking in on all cylinders when it comes to the economy.”
In terms of the specifics? DeSantis’ budget calls for a second round of $1,000 bonus checks for 177,000 teachers and principals in the Sunshine State. He’s also proposed setting aside $600 million for teacher pay. That’s a $50 million increase over last year, and it continues the state’s efforts to reach a minimum teacher starting salary of $47,500.
To be sure, state economists have said Florida was able to bring in $435.5 million more in general revenue than forecast in October, for example, because of federal aid. Specifically, thanks to last year’s child tax credit checks, which gave Floridians money to spend. Those checks, of course, have since dried up, with no prospect of their return from the federal government. And speaking of that —
Stimulus check update
There is, at least, a companion piece to those child tax credit payments that’s still to come. And unlike the bonus that Florida’s teachers are getting? This benefit will be much more widespread.
Last year’s child tax credit checks actually comprised only one-half of that benefit. Recipients get the rest of it this year when they file a federal tax return.
Anyone approved for the expanded child tax credit actually got just one single amount of money. Last year’s checks were an advance payment of half of it. The second half comes as a tax credit that you can claim on your federal tax return this year. Along with that credit, meanwhile, these are some of the other American Rescue Plan-fueled benefits that will help you out come tax time this year. From this IRS guide:
- An increased Child and Dependent Care Credit: Families who pay for daycare so they can work or look for work can get a tax credit worth up to $4,000 for one qualifying person and $8,000 for two or more qualifying people.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit: The American Rescue Plan boosted the EITC for childless workers. There are also changes that can help low- and moderate-income families with children.
- The Recovery Rebate Credit: Those who missed out on last year’s third-round of stimulus payments may be eligible to claim the RRC. This credit can also help eligible people whose checks were less than the full amount. Including those who welcomed a child in 2021.