California governor proposes tax rebate as virus relief

Gavin Newsom proposes $600 stimulus payments for two-thirds of California residents

Riding a breathtaking and exquisitely timed $75.7 billion surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday proposed putting $600 in the pockets of two-thirds of California taxpayers in a state rebate that if approved would be the largest in USA history. $600 would be allocated to Californians making under $75,000 per year, and an extra $500 for families with children.

© David Mcnew/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images The proposal takes advantage of a remarkable turnaround in the state's financial picture at the same time Mr. Newsom is preparing for an expected recall election.

"We're working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment, and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water", Newsom said. The proposal also includes $5.2 billion to pay back rent and $2 billion for overdue utility bills for people who fell behind during the pandemic.

State law requires that taxpayers get a rebate when a budget surplus hits a certain size, which has only happened once in California in more than 40 years.

In less than a year, the state's financial picture has swung from bust to boom, thanks largely to California's tax system, which relies heavily on the kind of higher-income workers who were able to work from home and thus keep their jobs during the pandemic. Gavin Newsom has expanded a drought emergency declaration to a large swath of the nation's most populated state amid "acute water supply shortages" in northern and central areas.

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"The governor's got a lot of money to hand out".

A year after slashing spending to fill a record-breaking deficit spurred by the pandemic, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is eyeing a massive surplus and hopes to send out a second, larger round of stimulus checks to residents. "And of course, he's anxious about his own neck", Cox said at a campaign event in Los Angeles.

"Californians need permanent, real tax relief, not just one-time stimulus checks", Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor, said in a statement. Immigrants making up to $75,000 who file taxes, including those also living in the country illegally, also got the check.

All combined, the state would spend $11.9 billion on direct cash payments.

"That budget surplus is going right back to the most vulnerable Californians, the ones who need help the most", he said.

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