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Millions of Californians to receive 'inflation relief' with gas tax rebate checks

·3 min read

Millions of California taxpayers may get thousands of dollars to help combat the high cost of gas and other goods.

The money will be distributed soon as California Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders reached an agreement over the framework for the 2022-23 state budget, Newsom's office announced Sunday.

About 23 million eligible Californians could each receive payments of up to $1,050 as part of a $17 billion inflation relief package, the governor's office said in a news release.

"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," Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in the release.

The deal comes as California drivers face the highest gas prices in the nation as the average price for a gallon of gas in the state Monday is $6.32, according to AAA, nearly 30% higher than the national average. Newsom first proposed a gas tax refund in March.

Georgia and Maryland have both passed bills to pause their state gas taxes.

California's new agreement also includes a suspension of the state sales tax on diesel, which reached as high as $7 across California according to AAA, and additional funds to help residents pay their rent and utility bills, state officials added.

Taxpayers will receive a portion of California's record-setting $97 billion budget surplus as the funds would only go to residents who make a certain amount of money each year.

As part of the plan, state officials reached a compromise as the money will go to taxpayers instead of only to vehicle owners as the checks will be larger than legislative leaders had initially proposed.

Lower- and middle-income Californians will likely get the most help. The less amount of money those residents make annually means the more gas stimulus money they will get from the state.

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For example, single taxpayers who earn less than $75,000 a year and couples who file jointly and make less than $150,000 a year will receive $350 per taxpayer. Taxpayers with dependents will receive an extra $350.

This means a couple earning a combined $125,000 and having two children would qualify for $350 per adult plus $350 for their children, for a total of $1,050.

Meanwhile, higher-earning residents will get less under the deal. Single taxpayers who make between $75,000 and $125,000 a year and couples who earn between $150,000 and $250,000 will receive $250, plus the same payment for their dependents, for a maximum of $750 per family.

Single people who earn between $125,000 and $250,000 and couples who earn between $250,000 and $500,000 annually would receive $200 each, plus the same amount for their dependents. That amounts to a maximum payment of $600 per family.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California taxpayers to receive assistance with gas tax rebate checks