Economists use a variety of measurements to track inflation, but the one that matters most to you and me is the personal consumption expenditure, or PCE, price index. This gauge of consumer spending increased 1.1 percent in June.
The difficulty many folks are having in meeting their rising living expenses finally prompted some Congressional action. The Senate is expected to vote next week on what's been dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a budget reconciliation package that includes tax, climate change mitigation, and health care provisions.
But closer to home, 16 state governments are taking more direct and immediate action. They are sending their residents checks, some as much as $1,500, to help them cope with the current higher cost of living.
State help to cover rising expenses: "The stimulus efforts vary by state, but include one-time payments, tax refunds, tax credits, and suspending gas taxes," writes Alicia Adamczyk in a Fortune magazine article published online last week.
The states are California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Adamczyk's Fortune piece, "These states are sending residents stimulus checks up to $1,500 to combat inflation," has details on the inflation assistance amounts, eligibility, and how the money will be distributed. Most states will follow the Internal Revenue Service's COVID economic impact payment plan and use taxpayer information already in their revenue departments' databases.
And speaking of the coronavirus, Adamczyk notes that many states are using surplus funds from federal COVID-19 aid packages to fund stimulus efforts.
The bad news is that the measures are often included in state budget proposals, she writes, which means residents will have to wait a few months for the relief. But waiting is better than nothing.
And Adamczyk's compilation of which states' residents should be on the lookout for eventual inflation relief also earns this weekend's Saturday Shout Out.
You also might find these items of interest:
- 10 states have their own child tax credits
- Massachusetts taxpayers to get 2 payback amounts this year
- 9 more states get $940M in federal funds for small business programs