Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a $ 286 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 on Monday.
While the budget as proposed does not include another round of Golden State Stimulus checks, the governor has left open the possibility of more tax cuts this year as the state determines what to do with its huge budget surplus – a surplus potentially large enough to exceed California’s constitutional budget. limit.
Here’s why the answer, at least for now, can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.
In cases where the ceiling is reached, the state must return money to taxpayers. This is because of Proposition 4 – also known as the “Gann Limit” – a voting measure approved by voters in 1979.
Last year was only the second time California has crossed the limit since its establishment, The Associated Press reported, and it effectively triggered the largest state tax refund in US history – United.
The Golden State Stimulus program has returned about $ 12 billion to taxpayers, with payments of up to $ 1,100 still outstanding, Newsom said.
For this fiscal year, which begins July 1, the state’s office of legislative analysts is once again forecasting a budget surplus, this time of at least $ 31 billion.
By the time of the January budget, California expects to exceed the “Gann limit” of $ 2.6 billion, according to the governor. About half of the money will go to education and the rest to taxpayers.
But if they will be distributed in the form of stimulus checks: there is no yes or no answer yet.
“That’s an open question,” Newsom replied when asked about the prospects for such payments.
At least part of the reason is that the projected figure “is very likely to change substantially by May” when the revised budget for the coming year is due. “We are therefore waiting for more contemporary information and data, more reflective of what is happening now before having to put this budget to bed to finally make this decision.”
And finally, he thinks that “yes”, taxpayers will receive some form of contribution.
“What shape… and to what extent in terms of total dollar amounts will be determined more closely in May,” Newsom said.
In 2021, the governor’s initial budget proposal included what became known as the Golden State Stimulus I. An expanded version of the program that brought checks to millions more residents was unveiled in June and ultimately included in the 2021-2022 budget signed by Newsom in July. .
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