Stimulus payments from the federal government, after three rounds in 2020 and 2021, are now very much a thing of the past. But some states have continued to send them, including California.
“The Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) is a one-time payment to provide relief to Californians,” the official website says. “If you are eligible, you will automatically receive a payment. Payments are expected to be issued between October 2022 and January 2023.”
According to KTLA, what’s being mailed out starting this week is the second round of “inflation relief payments” and the first round of debit card payments.
“The first batch of debit cards is being sent to people who received a Golden State Stimulus payment (GSS I or II) last year whose last names also start with letters A – E. Everyone in that group should have their payment mailed to them by Nov. 5,” KTLA said, citing the Franchise Tax Board.
Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged the sending of the checks, which will amount to $9.5 billion in money for Californians, while the Golden State Stimulus amounted to $9 billion.
“We know it’s expensive right now, and California is putting money back into your pockets to help. We’re sending out refunds worth over a thousand dollars to help families pay for everything from groceries to gas,” the governor said in a statement.
The payments are being sent in coordination with Money Network Financial.
“Inflated costs for everyday necessities have forced many to cut corners or make impossible choices, and pain at the pump has been compounded by the return of the commute for many Californians,” State Controller and Franchise Tax Board Chair Betty T. Yee said in the same announcement. “As the holidays approach, my team members are thrilled to be able to get these payments into the hands of those who have been struggling, so they can enjoy a measure of relief.”
Part of the impetus behind the payments is historically high gas prices, which are typically higher in California than they are in most of the rest of the country. However, gas prices have begun to fall in California and other West Coast states. GasBuddy recently explained why.
“Average gas prices have declined for the second straight week with significant declines in the West and Great Lakes having an oversized effect on the drop in the national average,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said in a blog post on Monday. California still has the highest average gas price in the country, at $5.68, but it’s lower than it’s been in recent months.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.