California approved gas tax relief. When will it start?
Lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom have finalized a deal to send $9.5 billion back to Californians feeling the crush of $6 gasoline and rising costs for groceries and other products and services. The payments, which could be as much as $1,050 for a family, will not be coming in time for a 4th of July road trip – but they should land before the winter holidays.
Comments from state leaders indicate inflation cashback payments will likely be pushed into the fall as bureaucrats work out the kinks of sending money to nearly 23 million people.
At the heart of the delay is the Franchise Tax Board, which will be responsible for issuing the bulk of payments to bank accounts linked to tax accounts. In May Gov. Gavin Newsom said the tax board would not start that process until October because the agency is already dealing with tax refunds.
An FTB webpage updated on Thursday says the payments are now expected to go out by the end of October and continue into January.
So how much will you get? The framework sets three tiers of relief-payment eligibility for individual taxpayers that gives more to those who earn less.
• The first tier, covering 14.2 million taxpayers, provides payments of $350 each, plus an additional $350 if they have at least one dependent, for single filers earning up to $75,000 and joint filers up to $150,000. A single filer with no kids will receive $350, a single parent or a childless couple will get $700, and a joint-filing couple with kids or at least one other dependent will get $1,050.
• The second tier covers 2.1 million taxpayers earning between $75,000 and $125,000 as single filers or $150,000 to $250,000 as joint filers. They will get $250 each plus an extra $250 for at least one dependent. So a childless individual taxpayer can expect $250, a single parent or childless couple will get $500, and a couple with kids will receive $750.
• The third tier would provide 1.1 million filers who earn between $125,000 and $250,000 as single taxpayers, or from $250,000 to $500,000 as joint filers, with payments of $200 each plus an extra $200 for dependents. So an individual filer will get $200, a single parent or childless couple will get $400, and a couple with kids will get $600.
A sticking point in talks between the governor and lawmakers was over sending rebates to wealthy Californians, and the plan announced late Sunday wouldn’t provide anything for some 500,000 taxpayers earning more than $250,000 individually, or $500,000 as a joint-filing couple.
Gov. Newsom had earlier proposed a $9 billion plan to send motorists $400 per car for up to two cars, plus $2 billion for free public transportation for three months. But he dropped it in the face of opposition from lawmakers who said it would benefit wealthy auto owners while largely shutting out many of the poor who don’t have cars.
The compromise proposal calls for an additional $8 billion — totaling $17.5 billion — to provide relief for other rising costs. That includes $2 billion of additional rental assistance provided earlier this year, $2.3 billion in fiscal relief to small businesses and nonprofits for unemployment insurance and paid sick leave costs, drought relief grants for small farms, a diesel sales tax suspension, and union dues credits for workers.