Stimulus Check: Maine Is The First State Off The Mark

Stimulus check
Stimulus Check

With the federal administration having moved on from sending stimulus checks to low and moderate-income citizens to spending more on infrastructure, states have moved in to save residents from the scourge of inflation. The inflation figures are at record highs, crossing the 8.6% mark and higher for the first time in over 4 decades.

Realizing the enormity of the situation, some states have moved in to provide immediate relief. Maine is the first to legislate on providing relief stimulus checks to its residents. Governor Janet Mills proposed giving back over half of the $1.2 B surplus budget to Mainers. The state has enjoyed a historic surplus thanks to unexpected revenue income and federal support.

The Governor said that the state wants to ensure that all eligible persons can access this state stimulus check. She said that the administration was hopeful that residents would get answers to common issues they may have regarding the stimulus check.

The relief program is expected to return as much as $729.3M of the budget surplus with the state at present. The $850 stimulus check to individuals works out to a family getting $1,700 as a direct inflation relief payment starting this month.

The inflation support measure is expected to benefit around 858,000 residents. The initial round of 5,000 relief stimulus checks worth $850 each has already been dispatched in the first week. It was followed by 200,000 payments being sent every week.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The bill was signed into law by Governor Mills in late April and received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Maine Legislature.

The Maine stimulus check was delayed for an unpredictable reason as a shortage of envelopes threatened delay in the distribution process. But the Governor’s office has assured residents that they have secured the desired number of them and said they expect the majority of eligible residents to receive their stimulus checks by the middle of July 2022.

To be eligible for the $850 stimulus check, residents should have filed their 2021 income tax returns by May 31.

Maine Administration Assures Residents Of Sending The Strongest Stimulus Checks In The Country

Maine’s treasurer, Henry Beck said that the state was aware that residents are feeling the effect of rising prices, and Governor Mills and the whole Legislature are united in delivering one of the strongest relief measures in the US.

The final amount went through a series of revisions in the last few months and was upgraded on the insistence of Governor Mills and thanks to an increase in tax revenues and stepped-up federal funding. She maintained that while there was little to be done to control the global market rates and inflation, her administration could at least ensure that the people of Maine get what they need at this moment to face rising costs.

Budget Allocation For Expenses Other Than Stimulus Checks

Along with returning funds from the surplus budgets to residents through stimulus checks, there are also measures to boost income tax waivers for retired people, relief in property tax for seniors, low-income tenants, and homeowners, and also assistance for child support workers.

The support program has also set aside $20M for funding 2 years of community college for high school students who graduate between 2020 and 2023 and meet other eligibility criteria. $60M has also been set aside to decontaminate chemical pollution from PFAS and similar chemicals. These ‘forever chemicals’ increase the risk of cancer, cause fetus deformity and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

Filing the 2021 income tax return is a prerequisite. But the May 31 deadline only applies to getting the $850 stimulus checks immediately under the present round of stimulus check distribution. The last date for filing is October 31 this year.

People who file later will receive their payments on a rolling basis and should expect delays in getting their stimulus check. So filling the returns immediately will ensure that residents get their relief payments.

Stimulus Check
stimulus check

The $850 stimulus checks are also available to seniors and also those receiving social security or supplemental security income (SSI) if they meet other eligibility conditions including the filing of income tax returns and residency.

The Maine stimulus checks will all be mailed through the US Postal Service. The paper check will be sent to the home address entered by the filer on the 2021 state income tax return and will be redirected if any forwarding address is given to the postal service. Information on updating mailing addresses or lost payments can be obtained by contacting the Maine Revenue Services at (207) 624-9924.

Other Relief Stimulus Checks Available From The State

Governor Mills and her administration are encouraging residents of Maine to carefully examine if they are eligible for another $1,400 in tax relief available for individuals this season. This relief is under laws that have been enacted particularly for helping low and moderate-earning families in Maine. These reliefs are under the Homestead Exemption Program, Earned Income Tax Credit, the State Property Tax Fairness Credit, and Sales Tax Fairness Credit.

California Residents Will Receive Inflation Relief Stimulus Check Soon

Close to 23M California residents will receive an inflation relief stimulus check worth $1,050 maximum under a budget deal between Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators on Sunday.

These relief checks are under the $17 B relief package that also seeks to suspend the sales tax collected by the state on diesel. It will also provide extra aid to people with utility and rent expenses. This was revealed by Gov. Newsom and other leaders of the legislature.

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

California is currently experiencing the highest price of gasoline in America and the average gas price stood at $6.32 per gallon on Monday, which is 29% more than the national average rate.

Gov. Newsom had earlier in the year proposed gas cards for state vehicle owners worth $400 with a maximum of two cards per family. He also proposed transit cards for families which do not own vehicles.

But other legislators backed sending money directly to residents similar to the Golden State Stimulus Check I and II paid in 2021. The Governor’s office in California Tweeted that an agreement has been reached on the state budget with lawmakers. Immediate action has been assured to send stimulus checks to millions who continue to face the effect of rising costs that have risen to record levels.

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