Georgia residents will now soon get a tax rebate of up to $500 as Gov. Brian Kemp has signed into law a $1 billion package that the General Assembly passed this week. This new tax rebate from Georgia will go to people who filed tax returns for both 2021 and 2022.
New Tax Rebate From Georgia: Who Will Get It And How Much?
Gov. Kemp wasted no time in signing the $1 billion package that would give tax rebates of up to $500 to eligible Georgians. The Republican governor signed the bill (House Bill 162) late Tuesday, just hours after it was approved by the Georgia Senate.
“While some in Washington D.C., are calling for tax increases, we’re sending money back to hardworking Georgians,” Gov. Kemp said in a statement. “Last year, we returned over a billion dollars to the taxpayers of our state, and I’m proud we’re doing it again …”
This new tax rebate from Georgia will go to residents who have filed their state income tax returns for both 2021 and 2022. So, those who don’t owe state income taxes, such as retirees, won’t get any rebate. However, those claimed as dependents who worked last year, such as students, could get the rebate money if they file taxes separately.
Eligible individual tax filers will get $250 in tax rebate, heads of households will get $375, while married couples filing jointly will get $500. The money for the new tax rebate from Georgia will come from the surplus funds of over $1 billion that the state currently has.
The Georgia Department of Revenue will start issuing the tax rebate to eligible taxpayers within six to eight weeks. The department will send out most of the rebates by July 1 to those who filed their return on or before April 18.
The Georgia Department of Revenue will also soon come up with a tool that will allow taxpayers to check the status of their rebates.
Is It The Best Use Of Money?
Some Democrats argue that the surplus money could have been better utilized on granting bigger rebates to people whose wages are too low to pay much in taxes. Democrats also say that a better use of the money would have been to spend it on underfunded state services, such as childcare subsidies for poor families, expanded healthcare access and higher salaries for teachers.
Last week, Gov. Kemp also signed into law a $950 million property tax rebate as part of the amended budget for this year. By approving both the income tax and property tax rebates, Gov. Kemp fulfilled two key promises he made in his successful reelection campaign last year.
It is possible that Georgians could get another round of rebates going forward. The state ended the last budget year with $6.6 billion in surplus revenue. This surplus revenue is in addition to the state’s rainy day fund, which has reached its legal limit of $5.2 billion.