Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Earlier this year, in response to an emerging economic downturn, my colleagues and I came together to pass an economic stimulus package to help working families weather the coming storm. This bipartisan measure is intended to provide a confidence boost by putting money back into the pockets of middle-class families through tax rebates, while also offering critical incentives for businesses to expand and grow jobs. I am pleased to report those stimulus checks have begun arriving this week. Checks will continue arriving via both direct deposit and postal mail over the next several weeks. The order of the rebates is based on the last two digits of primary filers' social security number, beginning with the lowest number first. People who have opted for direct deposit will receive their check starting this week. Paper checks are slated to start going out on May 9, a week earlier than originally planned. The rebates are being sent to those who filed a 2007 tax return. If you have not yet filed a return for 2007, you should do so as soon possible to ensure you receive the rebate that's due to you. All returns must be filed no later than October 15th to receive your rebate. For those who want the stimulus check but wouldn't have otherwise filed a tax return, you can fill out a simple form called the 1040A. More information on this can be found at . The size of the rebate will vary according to marital status, income and dependent children. A single filer earning less than $75,000 will receive up to a $600 rebate check, and a married couple filing jointly with less than $150,000 in earnings will receive up to $1,200. For every child under 17 years old, as of Dec. 31, 2007, a filer will get an additional $300 per child. The rebate amounts will be phased out for those with earnings exceeding these amounts. Additionally, those who earn at least $3,000 a year but don't normally pay income taxes will be eligible for a $300 check, or $600 if it is a joint return. I'm very pleased that we can put money back in the pockets of Minnesotans, including 20 million seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans, whose pocketbooks have been hit hard by high gas prices, soaring food costs and ever rising health care costs. The stimulus package sends the money just where it should go - back to the people and into the economy. And while it may not be the silver bullet to all of the current challenges facing our economy, it will provide much-needed help for middle class Minnesotans. Of course, there is more to be done - including continuing efforts to address the housing crisis and reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. As we move forward, rest assured I will continue my fight for Minnesota families facing the uphill battle of a struggling economy.