According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the cost of the proposal is capped at $500 million, which means that the final check amounts could be adjusted lower if claims for the money exceed the set limit.
Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Dan Hegeman, a Republican who sponsored the plan, described it as “a rebate of your hard-earned (tax) dollars.” He added, "it allows taxpayers to get some of their money back."
The Associated Press reported that the Senate proposal is similar to the one passed previously by the House but would apply to fewer residents at a lower cost to the state. The rebates will be limited to taxpayers earning $150,000 or less, or $300,000 for a married couple, and those who didn’t pay income tax in 2021 will be ineligible for the money. The plan still needs a final Senate vote to go to the House and then on to Gov. Mike Parson.
“I think we landed in a place that’s a good place,” noted Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo. “I believe we have a pretty good compromise here.” He added that the plan focused the tax relief on “middle-income people” who “have been through the wringer the last few years” due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Like Missouri, several other states have jumped in to propose their own version of tax rebates or stimulus checks to help ease the burden of red-hot inflation that has reached a forty-year high. For example, in a rebate program proposed by lawmakers in Hawaii, taxpayers earning less than $100,000 per year and their dependents will be on the receiving end of a $300 payment. For those who earn more than six figures annually, they will receive $100.
Not to be outdone, in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf is pressing lawmakers to disburse $2,000 checks for state families with incomes of $80,000 or less, state lawmakers in Maine recently approved a budget that includes $850 stimulus checks for an estimated 858,000 residents, and residents of New Mexico can now expect to receive cash rebates of between $500 and $1,000.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis and the state's Legislature have proposed the Colorado Cashback program, which will provide eligible residents with a $400 payment this summer. In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz is calling for direct payments in the amount of $500 for single tax filers who earn less than $164,400 and $1,000 for couples who earn less than $273,470. Finally, in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing for a $400 tax refund in the form of a debit card.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.