One of the US states hit hardest by high taxes and the effects of inflation has found a new pile of money to give away to 23 million people in the form of inflation relief checks.
Notwithstanding the tax policy implications of states bleeding residents dry and then “finding” money to give them to mitigate the pain, a budget deal struck in California between lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom has resulted in around 23 million Californians being set to get payments styled as “inflation relief” totaling up to $1,050. The $17 billion legislative package making these checks possible also includes a suspension of state sales tax on diesel fuel, as well as rent and utility bill aid.
Inflation relief checks in California
State officials released the following statement about the budget plan, a centerpiece of which includes the relief checks. “California’s budget addresses the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians who are grappling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries.”
As for the most important question, regarding the checks: When?
Conditions that made the checks necessary in the first place apparently aren’t too urgent. According to local station KCRA, the inflation relief checks will be sent in the form of either debit cards or direct-deposited into recipient bank accounts … by the end of October.
Meantime, California drivers are currently dealing with the highest gas prices in the US right now. The average there hit $6.32/gallon on Monday, almost 30 percent higher than the national average. Inflation is also sending the price of groceries and other consumer staples soaring, in addition to gas.
Stimulus check details
Pain at the pump and other economic conditions will certainly ensure that these inflation relief checks are well received. But that also raises the question of who, exactly, will receive them?
According to the state, these checks will get distributed similarly to how the federal stimulus checks filtered out to Americans in 2020 and 2021. Deciding factors will include recipients’ income and household size. Along those lines, some key points to know:
- Single taxpayers who make less than $75,000 a year in annual income (and couples who file jointly and make less than $150,000 a year) will get $350 per taxpayer.
- Taxpayers with dependents will get an extra $350.
We mentioned above that these checks could top out at $1,050. Here’s how that could work. Suppose a married couple, together, reported $130,000 a year in household income. They also have 2 children. That would mean $350 x 3, for a total of $1,050.
What about Californians with higher incomes?
Californians who make more money, meanwhile, won’t be left out.
- Single taxpayers will get $250 each if they make between $75,000 and $125,000 a year. And the same for couples who earn between $150,000 and $250,000 a year. If they have dependents, they’ll get an extra $250, for a maximum of $750.
- Single taxpayers will get $200 each if they make between $125,000 and $250,000 a year. Likewise, for couples who earn between $250,000 and $500,000 annually. They’ll get another $200 if they have dependents, for a maximum of $600.