A tax credit aimed at giving a tax break to people with low to moderate incomes is also giving eligible Oregonians several hundred dollars over the next week or so.
If you qualified for an earned income tax credit on your 2020 taxes, and you were living in Oregon at the time, you might want to watch your bank account or mailbox a little extra closely in the coming days. Thanks to a state law passed earlier this year, lower-income Oregon households that received the tax credit in 2020 will soon get $600 by direct deposit or mailed check.
The Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that 236,287 qualifying households should receive payments in about a week.
“All direct deposits will be made and checks will be mailed by July 1, 2022,” the Department of Revenue said in a statement describing the payments.
In passing House Bill 4157, Oregon lawmakers mandated the money be paid out by the end of July 2022.
To qualify for the credit, taxpayers have to fit within certain income limits. For instance, a family with two children would have to earn no more than $53,865 annually, according to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Oregon lawmakers approved spending the money out of federal pandemic aid funds approved by Congress in 2021. HB 4157 passed the Oregon House on March 2, by a margin of 42-16 and by a vote of 23-2 in the Oregon Senate the next day.
A spokesperson with Gov. Kate Brown said the governor was “pleased” to sign the payments legislation to help out Oregonians in need.
“Governor Brown understands the impact that the rising cost of living is having on working families and businesses alike,” said Brown’s press secretary Liz Merah in a statement emailed to OPB Thursday. “This is money that’s going directly into the pockets of Oregon families who need it the most, starting this week.”
Merah’s statement put the $600 payments in the context of other state expenditures, including $400 million for housing and $100 million for child care.
Among the groups supporting the $600 payments were the Oregon Food Bank, Latino Network, and unions such as the Service Employees International Union and Oregon AFL-CIO. In testimony to the legislature, advocates said the money would help Oregonians who have borne some of the most devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Low-income workers in our state, especially women and mothers of color have been critical to Oregon’s critical infrastructure, all while disproportionately bearing the weight of this COVID-19 crisis,” said Family Forward Oregon policy manager Lisa Kwon, in written testimony to the House Rules Committee on Feb. 17.
The state revenue department has compiled a “frequently asked questions” web page for Oregonians interested in further details about the payments.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Gov. Kate Brown’s office.