New source for stimulus checks: Your local government?

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Almost everybody is aware that the CARES Act authorized the government to send out $1,200 stimulus checks to millions of Americans. And right now there is serious discussion going on regarding a second round of checks.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve seen a lot of back-and-forth regarding a second round of stimulus payments.

The initiative easily passed the House of Representatives which is controlled by Democrats but it is now sitting in the Senate where many Republicans have expressed doubts about it getting passed.

However, we’ve seen glimmers of hope from the White House that another round of checks could be likely.

But even if another round of stimulus checks does not come from the government, it’s possible that your local government could be sending out stimulus checks.

Let’s take a look at what some local governments have done.

According to Money, “On April 23, Mayor Lenny Curry announced that Jacksonville will be offering offering $1,000 to residents who make less than $75,000 a year and who lost at least 25% of their income to the COVID-19 crisis.”

So the amount there is less than what the federal government is offering but it’s still quite substantial considering this is coming from a local government. Of course, they are also requiring you to prove that you have lost income due to the coronavirus crisis.

Montgomery County (near Houston) commissioners on June 1 agreed to a plan to implement a $500 economic stimulus proposal.

In that case the requirements work a little bit different as you must: 

  • Be a U.S. citizen 
  • Own a homesteaded property in Montgomery County as of April 1, 2020 
  • Apply between July 1 and August 1 
  • Be current on property taxes

Other local governments will be offering much less for their local stimulus checks. For example in Chickasha, Oklahoma, the local government is offering $50 for its stimulus checks.

That may not sound like much to get excited about but for a lot of people $50 can be a nice little run to the grocery store for some essentials. 

You might be wondering where these local cities and counties are getting the funds for stimulus checks?

It goes back to the CARES act which authorized a  $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund allowing local governments to spend funds for its residents.

Basically your local government could decide to use the funds to cover expenses that:

  • are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);
  • were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and
  • were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

In other cases, the funds could be coming directly from local taxpayers.

To find out if your city or county is issuing our local stimulus checks a simple Google search with your city’s name and “stimulus checks” should yield results. While only a limited number of counties and cities are currently offering checks, I have a feeling that we will see more of these solutions pop up over the next few months.

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