Inflation Relief Checks: summary news 6 December
Headlines: Tuesday, 6 December 2022
- California could become the first state to enact a windfall profits taxon gas companies
- Supplemental Security Income recipients will be thefirst to see the COLA applied to their checks
- Medicare Open Enrollment ends tomorrow, 7 December: What you need to know about Part B.
- A strike by railroad workers has been outlawed: what was passed by Congress?
- California continues distributing Middle-Class Tax Refund, with payments already benefiting 19 million residents
- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell suggests that elevated interest rates will remain
- Experts predicting a significant market adjustment in house prices
- Some groups will receive two Social Security checks this month
In the United States, government operations are primarily funded through taxes on income, commerce, and property Additionally, taxes levied on corporations are an additional revanue source, but this article will focus on those taxes paid by most people.
Read our full coverage for a break down on taxation regimes shift from state to state.
Leaders in the Golden State unveiled a new bill Monday to penalize oil and gas companies for what they see as price gouging masked by talk of worker shortages, logistical challenging, and a lack of refining capacity.
For many, the most powerful the proposal is that it would allow the state to tax these big players operating in California if their margins are deemed excessively high.
The funds collected would enter a Price Gouging Penalty Fund and be returned to drivers who have paid more for gas than any other state. The legislature must determine what the state will consider the acceptable “maximum margin” for refiners, as well as the penalty applied once this upper limit has been reached. The name for this sort of initiative is a windfall profits tax, and, as to be expected, is opposed by the oil and gas sector.
Read our full coverage for the response from the industry and an answer to the question of if environmental regulation is to blame for the surge in prices at the pump.
Mortgage rates are sky high, prices are sky high, and there’s no inventory. This may be the worst time in my living history for the home buyer — it just doesn’t make sense.
Affordability was the worst it’s ever been, and that was before 7 percent mortgage rates.
It looks like house prices in New York are set to drop as the nation deals with an overinflated market as well as high mortgage rates, at least in comparison to the last two decades.
Mortgage rates are at their highest level for 20 years. The average 30-year fixed rate sits at 6.95%, more than double it was at the start of the year.
New York house prices have been rising every month for the last five years. However, after a surging in price between July 2020 and July 2022 have begun to decrease.
Morgan Stanley predicts home prices will fall 7 percent, from the peak of pricing in June 2022 to December 2023. Moody’s Analytics expects prices to drop 10 percent, from June to summer 2024.
What are some of the most affordable neighborhoods in NYC?
In 2019, the New York Times called Inwood the last affordable neighborhood in Manhattan. Located on the Northeastern part of the island, houses for sale range in value from $150,000 to $1.1 million. However, most fall into a range between $300,000 and $600,000.
Another ranking put together by Property Club points to the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island as the boroughs with the most affordable pockets. Over in the Bronx, neighborhoods including Parkchester, Spuyten Duyvil, Kingsbridge, and Riverdale have some homes for sale that do not reach $400,000 and some two and three-bedrooms that do not surpass a price tag of $250,000.
What are the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City?
The area that surrounds Central Park is not only one of the more unaffordable areas of NYC, but the entire world.
$10 million two-bedroom apartments are a dime a dozen in this area, and the bigger the house, the bigger the asking price. An eight-bedroom mansion on the Upper West Side is currently listed for $65 million. Across the park in the Upper East Side, the story is the same, with many apartments worth more than $20 million up for sale. Out in Brooklyn, there are plenty of homes for sale above a million dollars, but overall the market is a cooler than that seen in Manhatten.
Housing policy and real estate development have not been designed to ensure all New Yorkers have access to affordable and quality housing. Multi-million dollar penthouses are empty while more than fifty thousand people are unhoused, dependent on shelters to avoid sleeping on the streets.
Property Club NYC took inventory of the housing market and found that the boroughs with the lowest median house price were the Bronx ($519,000), Staten Island ($550,000), and Queens ($605,000). Brooklyn and Manhattan topped the list with a median sale price of $900,000 and $1.16 million, respectively.
Inflation moderates in the US
The primary reasons for inflation in the United States (post-pandemic reopening, scarcity of oil and gas) have also affected economies around the world. Inflation in the US is a major priority for the Federal Reserve, but figures forwarded by BBVA suggest that the US is actually dealing with inflation better than many other countries.
The latest data available, from October, show that price rises in the States have begun to moderate.
The Social Security Administration provides a vital form of financial support for tens of millions of retired Americans every month. The amount on offer is based on the claimant's work history, personal situation and the age at which the first apply for the payments.
But how long does the support last for? Are you only eligible for a certain number of payments or does it continue forever?
We take a look...
“California’s price gouging penalty is simple – either Big Oil reins in the profits and prices, or they’ll pay a penalty."
“Big Oil has been lying and gouging Californians to line their own pockets long enough. I look forward to the work ahead with our partners in the Legislature to get this done.”
When will Student Loan Forgiveness be available?
The Supreme Court will decide on the legality of President Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness initiative, one of the key elements of his legislative agenda for the remainder of his first term in office. Biden had hoped to roll out the debt relief before the end of the year but a series of legal challenges have prevented the distribution.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in February and provide some clarity to borrowers.
What are backstop mortgages?
In the United States most mortgages are known as conforming loans and they are typically the most beneficial for both lenders and buyers.These financial products are also known as ‘backstop mortgages’ because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer a guarantee on the mortgage.
The federal government has raised the threshold for backstop mortgages in 2023 in a response to the rapid rise in house prices in recent years. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the typical maximum value of a mortgage available for government backing will rise by 12% next year, to $726,200.
However that figure varies in certain parts of the country where typical housing prices are considerably more expensive. In some high-cost markets, backstop mortgages will be available for houses worth up to $1.089 million.
Market slump on interest rate speculation
Aftet the November jobs report showed that the United States economy was continuing to grow, there is increased speculation that the Federal Reserve may continue to hike interest rates in a bid to fight inflation. More than 260,000 new jobs were added last month, surpassing expectations, the Fed is focused on limiting the pace of economic growth.
Markets reacted to the suggestion that interest rate may once again rise, recording the worst day for traders in a month.
Month after month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends checks to retired workers, eligible Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and others such as recipients of survivor benefits.
Although SSA typically sends out one check per month, some beneficiaries will receive two in December. Here's everything you need to know...
Will the Fed Reserve continue to increase interest rates?
Throughout much of 2022 the Federal Reserve's number one priority has been to tackle the high rate of inflation that is causing real pain for Americans. To do so, the central bank has instituted a series of interest rates hikes, designed to make borrowing more expensive and cool the economy. However, after the first signed that inflation is beginning to slow, will the Fed continue with this tactic?
The size of your Social Security monthly payment is dependent on the work history, employment status and personal circumstances of the recipient. This means that actions you take during your life have a direct impact on your Social Security payments in retirement.
There are a few things that can actually work to reduce your benefits, so try to avoid the following if you want to maximise your post-retirement income…
Will inflation play a role in the Georgia Senate runoff?
Today's Georgia Senate runoff election will see incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock face off against Herschel Walker for the final spot in the Senate. The Democrats have already secured a narrow majority but they could extend their control if Walker retains his seat.
Walker has attempted to run a campaign that sets him in opposition to President Biden, who has struggled with low polling numbers throughout 2022. But it appears that attempts to draw a link between Warnock and inflation may not be as successful as the Republicans would have hoped.
Prices begin to fall competitive housing market
House prices in California's Bay Area, one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, have fallen for six months in a row. This fall in average prices is tempting some prospective home buyers into taking advantage.
This report from CBS News outlines some of the reasons for the recent fall in property prices and gives advice to buyers. Beyond the fall in house prices, there is also the current mortgage rates to bare in mind. Unless you are able to buy outright, high interest rates will make your mortgage agreement more expensive.
"We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case on our student debt relief plan for middle and working class borrowers this February."
"President Biden will keep fighting against efforts to rob middle class families of the relief they need and deserve. As we previously announced, student loan payments will remain paused while the Supreme Court resolves the case."
Scammers are after your California inflation payment
There are still millions of eligible Californians who have not yet received their Middle Class Tax Refund from the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom passed legislation in the summer to provide a one-off inflation relief payment worth up to $1,050 per person, but fraudsters are looking to take advantage f the program.
Here, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Freuer outlines one of the scams currently being used...
US continues to add jobs in key sectors
Last week the November Jobs Report showed that the US economy had added another 263,000 jobs, with the overall unemployment rate remaining constant at 3.7%.
Like October, the number of jobs added was higher than many expected, considering how quickly the Federal Reserve has moved to increase interest rates. The US central bank expects unemployment to hit 3.8% by the end of December, and to reach that target, fewer jobs would need to be created this month.
What sectors added the most jobs?
1. Leisure and hospitality: +88,000 jobs, the majority of which were added in the food service sector (62,000).
2. Healthcare: +45,000
3. Government: +42,000.
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