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Colorado Stimulus Checks: Gov. Polis Announces $400 Cashback Program

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Colorado stimulus checks

More stimulus checks could be coming, but not from the federal government. Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently announced legislation to provide a payment to all eligible residents. These Colorado stimulus checks will provide eligible recipients with a payment of $400. The stimulus checks will come in the form of a cashback rebate.

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Colorado Stimulus Checks: Who Will Get Them?

On Monday, Governor Polis and the state’s Legislature proposed the Colorado Cashback program. Under the program, eligible residents will get Colorado stimulus checks of $400 this summer. The rebate will be available to full-time residents, and it is estimated that 3.1 million Coloradans will receive a rebate.

Single filers will get a flat amount of $400, while joint filers will get $800. The tax rebate checks will go to eligible residents after they file their 2021 state tax returns by May 31. Polis’ office informed that all eligible recipients will get the “rebate directly in the mail in August or September.”

Governor Polis cites “impacts of inflation and the cost of living” as reasons for coming up with the Colorado stimulus checks. This cashback rebate could prove extremely helpful to residents as inflation hits a record high. A recent report from the Labor Department shows that inflation increased by 8.5% in March from the same period last year, the highest increase in over 40 years.

“Instead of the government sitting on money that Coloradans earned, we want to give everyone cash back as quickly and easily as possible to provide immediate relief and empower people to do what they want to with their money,” Governor Polis said in a statement.

Is Colorado Cashback Program Better Than TABOR?

Though the Colorado Cashback program is not what most Democratic lawmakers wanted, it could prove more helpful to the poorer people than the current refund program required by TABOR (The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights). TABOR requires the Colorado government to return a part of the state revenue back to the taxpayers during strong economic times.

Presently, the state is sending back around $525 million, which is all the money over the cap set by TABOR. The limit set by TABOR ensures a check on government spending, and depends on the amount of revenue over inflation plus population growth.

Refund money under TABOR is sent back to the taxpayers in three ways, including, a temporary cut to the flat income tax rate; property tax relief for senior and veteran homeowners; and sales tax rebates sent out in a six-tiered system.

Polis’ Colorado Cashback program would use about $1.4 billion of the $2 billion projected refund money. This program would have no impact on two TABOR refund mechanisms, including a temporary income tax cut and property tax relief.

The refund money left after the $1.4 billion cashback program and the two TABOR untouched refund mechanisms, would be returned back to the taxpayers via the existing six-tier system.

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