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BUDGET SURPLUS

Millions of Americans in line for up to $1,000 in direct payments under $2billion pot proposal – would you qualify?

A NEW cash assistance plan could give Americans up to $1,000 in direct payments thanks to a big budget surplus.

Georgia governor Brian Kemp has revealed multiple tax rebate packages that aim to provide inflation relief to residents.

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Governor Brian Kemp revealed two inflation relief packagesCredit: Getty

During a news conference at the state Capitol, Mr Kemp said he would recommend a total of $2billion be given back in property and income tax rebates in his amended budget proposal for 2022-2023.

For the income rebate, single filers would get $250, heads of the households with dependents would get $375 and married couples would get $500.

It would look similar to the direct payments that the state started sending out in May.

The property tax rebate would provide savings in the range of 15% and 25%, reports Fox 5 Atlanta.

The average rebate would be roughly $500.

That would mean residents could be eligible for up to $1,000 if they qualify for both.

"As home prices skyrocket across the country, local property tax bills here in Georgia are hitting homeowners especially hard,” Mr Kemp said.

“For families struggling to make ends meet, I know that higher bills in the mail can force cutting back on other household necessities. 

Who would be eligible? 

The exact eligibility details have not been made clear yet for both payments.

Meanwhile, the income tax rebate could be similar to the eligibility under round that went out to taxpayers in May.

Under those rebates, residents qualified if they were full-time and filed a tax return for both 2020 and 2021.

A part-year individual who filed individual tax returns for 2020 and 2021 was eligible for a “proportional refund”.

And if you had liabilities owed to the state, such as delinquent child support payments, it reduced your refund.

This time around eligibility could apply to 2021 and 2022 tax returns, of course.

Previously, the Georgia Department of Revenue said it processed nearly 5.3million individual income tax returns and issued over 3.4million refunds.

The property tax rebates would be available for those who have regularly qualified for homestead exemption.

A homestead exemption typically protects the value of a home from property taxes and creditors after the death of a spouse.

Another rebate plan in Georgia

The move comes as the state is sitting on a reported $5billion budget surplus and Kemp faces a gubernatorial challenge from Democratic political leader and voting rights activist Stacey Abrahams. 

Ms Abrahams revealed a plan of her own that would give the same size rebate as Kemp’s new plan revealed.

However, there would be an income limit under her plan.

All families making below $250,000 would qualify for a rebate check.

Ms Abrahams has been critical of the incumbent governor for giving handouts to the wealthy.

She has also said she would use the remaining budget surplus to address “foundational challenges” including the expansion of Medicaid, small businesses, rural broadband and workforce development.

It’s unclear if or what Kemp will use the rest of the billions of dollars worth of surplus funds on.

And keep in mind that while there is support for a rebate, it isn’t guaranteed to happen.

The general assembly, which is not back in session until January, would need to greenlight the plan before it could move forward.

Other states sending out money

Meanwhile, other places around the country are sending out money to residents. 

For example, thousands of Hawaii residents are set to get a one-time tax refund this month.

Those making less than $100,000 annually will receive a $300 rebate.

If your income is over that threshold but under $200,000, then you’ll get $100.

Additionally, families with children could get more money.

For instance, a family of four could get $1,200.

Recently, Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee said families will be able to receive a child tax credit worth up to $750.

Any Rhode Island taxpayer with dependents 18 or under is eligible for the credit, and no application is necessary.

Taxpayers who filed by August 31 will start receiving rebates in October.

Nearly 115,000 families in the state are expected to benefit.

In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont expects child tax credit payments worth up to $750 to go out this month. 

The following income guidelines have to be met to qualify for the credit:

  • Single or married and filing separately: $100,000 or less
  • Head of household: $160,000 or less
  • Married filing jointly: $200,000 or less

The rebate will be reduced by 10% for every $1,000 a household earned over those thresholds, according to the state.

Eligible families had until July 31 to apply.

For more on how you can get money, there are dozens of cities and states offering universal basic income.

And here are the 12 states offering direct payments to parents worth up to $1,000.

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