SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California claims to have the largest state tax rebate in American history.
In fact, Governor Gavin Newsom has continuously promised "immediate relief" from the pandemic, since May, with a second round of stimulus checks. That means $600 for anyone making under $75,000 a year.
Is the relief package signed by Governor Newsom going to provide immediate relief?
Dr. Sanjay Varshney, a Sacramento State Finance Professor
No, the relief package signed by Governor Newsom will not provide immediate relief. The California Franchise Tax Board says those checks will start going out in September.
WHAT WE FOUND
After Governor Newsom signed the latest budget on Monday, the California franchise tax board, which is the lead state agency responsible for handing out these checks, launched a Golden State Stimulus II page on their website.
That's where they say, "We anticipate that payments will begin in September 2021."
"People were really in crisis mode last year when they truly needed immediate relief. The federal government actually did a much better job acting very quickly, and those stimulus checks went out pretty quickly," Varshney said. "In the case of California, it's an embarrassment and a shame that those checks are still not processed and not going out."
Varshney believes the checks and the "immediate relief" promises were politically motivated, as Governor Newsom faces a recall election this fall.
"I think that this is more of a crisis management mode that the Governor's office was in because the recall election had picked up steam," he said. "The machinery is broken. They couldn't even execute on that. They couldn't even get the checks out in a timely fashion. If truly you wanted to provide immediate relief, immediate means, checks should have gone out within the week. Hasn't happened so far."
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