With inflation reaching unprecedented levels in four decades, governors around the country are looking for methods to help cash-strapped households. One prominent example is Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who is urging lawmakers to enact larger rebate cheques rather than the $0.28 per gallon gas tax holiday advocated by some House Democrats.
According to FOX 9 in the Twin Cities, “Walz’s proposal calls for direct payments of $500 to adults earning less than $164,400 per year and $1,000 to couples earning less than $273,470,” adding that the governor “has tripled the size of the checks since he first proposed them in January, and his administration now estimates the cost at $2 billion.”
“You could get quite a few fill-ups out of $1,000,” Walz said during a recent exchange with reporters in New Hope, a Minneapolis suburb. “I believe that getting this money into the hands of people before to summer would make a significant difference. Additionally, it is fiscally responsible.”
It is believed that a gas tax holiday would result in much slower relief. “The owner of a 15-gallon vehicle would have to fill up 119 times before saving $500,” FOX 9 reported.
The governor did add, though, that he would consider signing a gas tax holiday if the state’s divided legislature supported one.
Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers in California are driving attempts to return some of the state’s roughly $9 billion budget surplus to taxpayers in order to offset the recent spike in gasoline prices.
According to Sacramento’s KCRA, legislators have suggested a $400 gas rebate for every state taxpayer, regardless of whether they own a car. “We recognise that far too many Californians are currently trying to make ends meet,” Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine) stated. “We are here to assist and to provide solutions.”
The MPs said that the reimbursement is not limited to gas but may also be used to cover other necessary expenses such as food and heating bills.
However, many Republicans believe that the wisest course of action at the moment would be for the governor to suspend the state’s $0.51 gas tax.
Refunds for Georgia’s Green-Lights Program
While California is still finalising its plans, Georgia has approved $250 tax refunds. Governor Brian Kemp signed the modified 2022 budget into law earlier this week.
According to Macon, Georgia-based WGXA, $1.6 billion will be distributed as individual tax refunds—a promise made by the governor in January.
“Details on tax refund distribution are unknown, although they will presumably be sent via direct deposit from the Department of Revenue to people who paid taxes in 2020 and 2021,” WGXA stated.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a science and technology editor living in Washington state. He has previously worked at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Connect with him on LinkedIn.