Economy

Green Stimulus Checks From California: New Bill To Give Tax Credit For Not Owning A Car

California, over the past couple of years, has come up with several legislation bills to provide monetary support to their residents, such as through the Golden State Stimulus program, inflation relief checks and others. Now, residents in the state could be in line to get green stimulus checks from California. Lawmakers are working on a bill that would offer tax credits to residents for not owning a car.

Green Stimulus Checks From California: What Are They?

We have seen states providing incentives to car owners to go green by scrapping older, higher-polluting vehicles and buying eco-friendly vehicles. California, however, is working in a different direction altogether.

Under a current proposal, Senate Bill 457, eligible households without a vehicle could qualify for $2,500 credits per family member. If this proposal is approved, each member of a household older than 16 who doesn’t have a car will get $2,500.

A family can get a maximum of $7,500 in green stimulus checks from California. Presently, there are over 26 million registered vehicles compared to 39 million residents in California.

Those in favor of the proposal argue that it would help in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reward energy-efficient Californians.

As per the data from the state Air Resources Board, transportation accounted for 41% of the CO2 emitted in California in 2019. Separately, a report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency notes that a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Over the years, California has invested huge sums of money in supporting transitions to electric vehicles, such as by giving incentives to car buyers, offering tax breaks for electric car owners and developing infrastructure.

The Air Resources Board, which manages these programs, admits that such measures may not be enough and that Californians will need to drive less. This is where this new bill could prove handy, as it would reward and encourage residents to go and remain car-free.

Current Status Of The Bill

State Senator Anthony Portantino proposed this legislation last year, and it has already been approved by the state senate. The proposal, however, has been amended and reconsidered many times since then.

“As the impacts of climate change are felt across our state, it’s time we more aggressively commit to implementing modes of sustainable transportation,” Senator Portantino said in a press release. “SB 457 is an important step towards that goal.

The bill was sponsored by Streets for All, which is an advocacy group working toward promoting dedicated bus lanes, protected bicycle lanes and better sidewalks for pedestrians.

Currently, the bill is awaiting approval from the California State Assembly. Once the lower house of the state legislature approves it, the bill would land on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for final approval.

If approved, the bill would be effective from the 2023 tax year, and the tax credit would be available to residents each year through 2028.

This article originally appeared on ValueWalk

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