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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

States Pick Up The Pace As It Sends More Stimulus Checks To Residents

With no sign of any abatement in the inflation rate, states are bracing for a further rise in prices and more trouble for residents. Low and moderate-income groups have fallen into severe debts after their wages experienced negative growth. Despite the growth of around 3.5% in average wages, the 8 to 9% inflation rate that has remained consistent this year has ensured that people are earning less in real terms than they did before the pandemic.

The present tally of states giving out stimulus checks, or in an advance stage of sending inflation relief payments, stands at 21. 16 states have already issued inflation relief stimulus checks, but the form of support and the eligibility criteria has varied with each state.

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While some states have done away with payments based on income, others have gone for a tapering system of payment, with multiple slabs depending on the Adjusted Gross Income.  

In some states, the stimulus check is the same for both individual filers and non-filers, while other states have doubled payment for joint filers if they meet the AGI criteria. Most states have stuck to a one-time stimulus check except for states such as New Mexico, which has legislated twice for two different stimulus checks and also spaced out the payments over three months.

New Mexico Mulls Sending The 4th Round Of Inflation Relief Stimulus Checks To Residents

New Mexico is among the few states that issued two tax rebates that the administration spread over 3 payments in three months. The third round of the last round of payments went out in August. Stephanie Schardin Clarke, the Secretary of Taxation and Revenue in New Mexico said that the administration realized the extent to which people were hurting due to the record inflation rate that touched 9.1% in June 2022, the highest since November 1981. By August 15, 2022, around 2.4 million rebates had already been issued.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check
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The New Mexico stimulus checks are the result of two distinct pieces of legislation. One was passed during a regular session of the legislature. The second was approved during a special session. The combined payments given over three months through these two pieces of legislation come to $1,500 to eligible tax filers.

Amber Wallin, the executive director of New Mexico Voices, a non-partisan advocacy group for children said that this form of relief was crucial for the residents of the state. she anticipates that the money will prove to be especially significant for the women of the state. other sub-groups to particularly benefit include parents, Black, Latinos, and certain Asians, people who have been particularly affected by the economic downturn.

The double whammy of the pandemic was followed less than a year later by the record inflation rate, which destroyed their savings. The rebate for July went out to New Mexican filers who filed their 2021 returns and also confirmed the following criteria.

Married couples filing jointly, surviving spouses, and household heads received $500 if their adjusted gross income was $150,000 or below. Individual taxpayers, married couples filing separately, and having an AGI of $75,000 or less got a $2250 stimulus check, either as a direct bank deposit or through the US Postal Service as paper checks.

The July payment was only one part of the stimulus checks. The second piece of legislation split the payments into two parts and benefitted residents in May and June, while the second payments were sent out in May and June and had very few restrictions on income.

The second stimulus check included a $1,000 stimulus check to poor people that were distributed as two separate payments in June and August. $500 went out to individual tax filers and married couples who file separately. These payments were distributed in two separate payments of $250 each in June and August.

Taxpayers had to just file their returns to receive the New Mexico rebates. The Dept. of Taxation and Revenue in the state sent the stimulus checks automatically to residents who filed their 2021 state returns.

Residents who filed their bank or financial institution details received direct account transfers while those who failed to do so had to wait for the paper stimulus checks to arrive through the US Postal Service.

The rebates went out to filers regardless of whether they used a Social Security number or the Individual Tax Identification Number to file their returns. This change was done to enable the sizable immigrant population of the state to claim stimulus payments. People with an ITIN did not have to produce immigration documentation to get access to the funds.

Even Non-Filers Were Allocated Economy Relief Payments

The way the payments were structured gave access to the highest number of residents. The state also set aside funds for non-filers. The money was distributed to those who applied first. Married couples got $1,000 and individual filers without dependents got half of that amount.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

Wallin says that it was an innovative move by the New Mexican authorities which enabled them to reach out to people on the far fringes of society. This was a problem that plagued both the federal government and other state administrations.

A new round of stimulus checks may also be a reality for the residents of New Mexico, the elusive fourth stimulus check that has also eluded the planners in the federal administration. Qualifying households in New Mexico can get another round of stimulus funds worth $400 which is set to take off next week.

The Human Services Dept. of New Mexico is overseeing this latest program under the YES New Mexico website. It is set to start on September 26 with people able to file their applications by 9 in the morning.

The latest round of payments will go out only to low-income households. The money will go out to the lowest income earners first with one check going out to each household.

The HSD has also warned potential applicants that the number of applicants is limited and the payments will be linked to the availability of funds. Around $10 million has been allocated for this 4th round of stimulus checks by the New Mexican authorities. This round of funding met with the approval of state legislators in the regular session of the 2022 legislative.

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