California governor proposes tax rebate as virus relief

11 Mai, 2021, 04:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • GOP-backed group plans to use ballot harvesting to take down California’s governor

California's economy is opening up rapidly amid falling COVID-19 numbers, but economic pain persists.

The projected $75.7 billion budget surplus is largely due to taxes paid by rich Californians who generally did well during the pandemic, and marks a major turnaround after officials previous year said they feared a deficit of more than $50 billion.

In April, Governor Newsom signed an emergency proclamation directing state agencies to take immediate action to bolster drought resilience across the state and declaring a State of Emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties due to severe drought conditions in the Russian River Watershed. "I made the point at the state of the state (address) a number of months ago: California is now coming back". Qualified families with dependents, including undocumented families, will also now be eligible for an additional $500. All households making up to $75,000 with at least one child, including immigrants in the country illegally who file taxes, would get an extra $500 payment.

For those who filed their taxes between January 1 and March 1, they can expect their payments starting on April 15.

In a tweet Monday morning, the governor announced an expansion of the state's Golden State Stimulus, saying: "CA will be expanding the Golden State Stimulus to middle class families - creating the biggest state tax rebate in U.S. history".

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Per Newsom's stimulus deal, two out of every three Californians will benefit from a new round of stimulus checks.

The governor, who faces a recall election later this year, pointed out that last year the state was projected to have $53 billion budget shortfall which this year has become a $75.7 billion budget surplus. The proposal also includes $5.2 billion to pay back rent and $2 billion for overdue utility bills for people who fell behind during the pandemic.

The plan still needs approval from the Legislature. Those efforts are budgeted at a little over $7 billion.

The massive budget surplus is largely due to taxes paid by rich Californians who generally did well during the pandemic, and marks a major turnaround after officials past year said they feared a deficit of more than $50 billion. The budget windfall has been driven by strong capital gains on the investments earned by California's wealthiest taxpayers. The state's budget relies heavily on personal income tax from high earners.

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