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$500 stimulus in New Jersey: can I receive it if I got the first, second and/or third stimulus check?

The federal government sent three stimulus payments to eligible taxpayers. New Jerseyans maybe wondering if that money affects the state's $500 tax rebate.

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$500 stimulus in New Jersey: can I receive it if I got the first, second and/or third stimulus check?

Eligible residents of the Garden State received up to $3,200 in Economic Impact Payments, or better known as stimulus checks, over the past year. That money was an advance on a federal tax rebate, the Recovery Rebate Credit. New Jersey is posed to send residents a tax rebate for up to $500 in July, but will the stimulus money change how much New Jerseyans receive?

Fortunately, it will not. The stimulus checks like the $500 that New Jersey will be sending is a tax rebate and just like a tax refund doesn’t count as income. Neither are subject to Income Tax in New Jersey and should not have been reported on New Jersey Income Tax returns. The threshold for a taxpayer to receive the full amount of the three stimulus checks is the same ass that for the Garden State middle-class tax rebate.

The state budget which includes the middle-class tax rebate cleared the state Legislature on Thursday and is now pending Governor Phil Murphy’s signature. Around three quarters of a million New Jersey families can look forward to receiving a check which will go out 1 July according to the Governor. Here’s what you should know about the $500 tax rebate.

Who will receive New Jersey $500 middle-class tax rebate?

“This is cash on the barrel, and the millionaires tax – the so-called millionaires tax - that's going to be directly into checks that families up and down this state in the middle class, and those aspiring to get into the middle class, are going to receive,” Governor Phil Murphy said.

Under the Millionaires Tax legislation from September 2020, the top New Jersey tax rate of 10.75 percent previously kicked in for those earning $5 million or more now applies to those making over $1 million, instead of 8.97 percent prior to the tax code changes. The tax increase is predicted to raise between $390 million to $450 million a year once fully implemented of which $300 million will go toward tax rebates for the middle class.

Families making up to $150,000 or those filing individually who earn up to $75,000 will receive checks for up to $500. Filers must have at least one dependent child in order to qualify for the payment. This year’s handout will cost the state $319 million and around 760,000 New Jersey families will benefit.

Governor Phil Murphy who has been working with lawmakers is expected to sign the bill when it arrives at his desk. The checks should go out starting 1 July and continue over the summer.

Other tax benefits in the New Jersey 2022 budget

“We are making use of available resources to deliver tax relief to middle class families and working people. We are expanding the tax credits for families, rebates for homeowners, deductions for veterans, and increased savings for the working poor. It also will make college and retirement more affordable for low- and middle-income residents,” Senator Paul Sarlo, chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee said.

In addition to the $500 tax rebate, middle-class residents can look forward to other tax benefits. New Jersey will update Homestead Benefit payments, which will now be based on the most recent property tax information from 2017, instead of 2006. This will put more money in the pockets of seniors, disabled and lower-income homeowners. The 2022 budget will extend the Veterans Property Tax Deduction, expanded in 2020 by a ballot measure, to Peacetime Veterans.

The 2022 Appropriations Act expands the Child and Dependent Care Credit to families earning up to $150,000 while at the same time making it refundable. As well the Earned Income Tax Credit will increase from 35 percent to 40 percent. The eligibility age will also drop again this year from 21 to 18, and expand eligibility to those 65 and older.

“I’m proud of the work done in partnership with the Governor and Senate President to produce a fair and responsible budget that looks toward greater economic vitality and growth that will benefit every New Jerseyan.” Democratic Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin said in a statement.