Golden State Payday: Californians Get Second Taxpayer Stimulus Starting Friday

Close up of a California Golden State stimulus check with envelope for $600, given out to qualifying taxpayers as part of the California COVID-19 relief program.

(The Center Square) – Many Californians are waking up to more money in their bank accounts today. 

Friday marks the second installment of California’s Golden State Stimulus, a nearly $12 billion tax rebate program paid for by the state’s unexpected budget surplus. 

Taxpayers making $75,000 or less that didn’t get the first round of stimulus funding should expect $600. Taxpayers who made less than $75,000 with one or more dependents can expect $1,000. 

In addition, the state said qualified families who file with a Social Security Number with one or more dependents are eligible to receive an additional $500. 

“The Golden State Stimulus is key to lifting up those hit hardest by the pandemic and supporting California’s economic recovery, putting money directly in the hands of folks who will spend it on basic needs and within their local communities,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a release.

The first round of stimulus checks went out in the early spring of 2021. Taxpayers making less than $75,000 received $600, and those who made less than $30,000 received $1,200. 

The Legislature approved Newsom’s proposal for an enhanced payment round in June. 

The boost in state funding came from a combination of federal COVID-19 aid and higher-than-expected income tax revenue.

California’s income tax revenue is progressive, relying more on high-earning workers who were largely able to maintain employment from home in 2020 to the surprise of state officials who were expecting a major revenue downfall. 

The stimulus comes at an advantageous time for Newsom, who is fighting for his political career in a recall effort that’s seeing energized Republicans approaching the likely voter numbers of Democrats, who outnumber registered GOP voters two-to-one. 

The recall election is Sept. 14, but ballots were mailed out earlier in August. 

Republicans criticized Newsom at the time for deciding to spend the budget surplus instead of paying down the state’s estimated $167 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. California’s total state and local pension debt top $1 trillion when estimated at market value, as estimated by pensiontracker.org.

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