June 27 (UPI) — California lawmakers have reached a budget deal that will offer “inflation relief” payments to millions of taxpayers in the state.
“California’s budget addresses the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians who are grappling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in a joint statement Sunday.
“The centerpiece of the agreement, a $17 billion inflation relief package, will offer tax refunds to millions of working Californians,” it added. “Twenty-three million Californians will benefit from direct payments of up to $1,050. The package will also include a suspension of the state sales tax on diesel, and additional funds to help people pay their rent and utility bills.”
The payments may come through direct deposit refunds to tax filers by late October, according to the Newsom administration, KCRA 3 reported.
State suspension of diesel sales tax, now 23 cents per gallon, for a year, will start on Oct. 1.
“The state will provide local government with the equivalent amount of revenue, estimated at $439 million, so that there will be no impact on local transportation funding projects,” H.D. Palmer with the Department of Finance told KCRA 3.
The budget also includes funding to “respond to severe wildfires,” and other climate change issues, a $47 billion multi-year infrastructure and transportation package, and other investments in education and healthcare resources, according the joint statement.
Under the new budget, state leaders also noted that “California will become the first state to achievement universal access to healthcare coverage.”