Stimulus Update: Will Another Payment Help Americans Cope With Rising Gas Prices?
- Gas prices have soared in recent months.
- Some lawmakers are considering another stimulus payment to help Americans cope with these costs.
- There are proposals on both the state and federal level.
Will high gas prices lead to more stimulus payments?
Gas prices are soaring nationwide and AAA reports that the national average cost of a gallon of gasoline hit $5.016 as of June 14, 2022. This is the all-time record high price.
Since many people cannot eliminate gasoline usage or even significantly cut their fuel costs, these surging prices have hit people hard. As a result, lawmakers are naturally considering ways to provide relief -- including potentially sending out another stimulus payment.
There are several proposals to provide assistance with gas costs
Proposals to help the public cope with gas prices exist at the federal level, as well as in some states.
One plan put forth on the federal level, for example, is called the Gas Rebate Act of 2022. It would provide a monthly rebate during any month when the national average cost of gas is $4 per gallon or higher.
The rebate would last through the end of 2022 and would total $100 per adult and per dependent for single filers earning less than $75,000 or joint filers earning less than $150,000. It would phase out at higher income levels, with single filers getting no rebate once their income topped $80,000 and married joint filers losing their rebate with an income of $160,000 or higher.
State plans exist in certain locations as well. In early June, for example, North Carolina Democrats put forth a plan to send money to residents via check or debit card. The money would come in the form of a $200 rebate to North Carolina residents and would be available by Oct. 1 to anyone who is 18 or over and who has a valid North Carolina license.
This is a bit different from the past stimulus checks that have come from the federal government, because those were able to be deposited into people's bank accounts if they provided their information, while these payments would come in the form of a debit card or check only.
Will financial relief come for Americans struggling with surging gas costs?
Although lawmakers on the state and federal level both clearly recognize the need for additional stimulus money due to high gas prices, there's no guarantee another payment will be forthcoming.
Amid surging inflation, some lawmakers are urging caution about spending more money so it may be difficult for these stimulus plans to get enough bipartisan support to pass either nationally or locally.
Still, prices for gas are expected to continue rising and if the public demand grows high enough due to the struggles people are facing to afford gas, it's very possible that legislation authorizing an additional payment could end up passing. Those hoping for more money should watch both the local and national news for signs of progress on a stimulus deal.
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