Tax Rebate; Save it or spend it?

January 26, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Valley residents dream up ideas of what to do if President Bush gets his $150 billion stimulus package.It's not a done deal yet and the president's plan faces an uphill battle in the senate. If it passes here's what the deal would entail.

Individual taxpayers who qualify would get up to $600 in rebates. Working couples would get $1,200 and an additional $300 per child.

The white house is pressing for quick action.

The bill goes to the house floor next week and then onto the senate -- where democrats are expected to try and add elements that would extend unemployment, home heating subsidies, and food stamps.

If the senate gives quick approval, rebate checks could begin going out in May and most Americans could have them by July.

We wanted to know what you would do with the tax rebate.

In our exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA we asked: 'Do you think giving a rebate check to each American will or will not help boost the economy?'

  • 63% said it will help
  • 28% said it will not help
  • 9% were unsure
  • If you did receive a rebate -- here's what respondees said they would do with the money.

  • 41% said they would pay bills
  • 20% said they would use the money for everyday purchases
  • 13% said they would save it or do something fun
  • 3% were not sure what they would do with the money
  • The former head of the U.S. Treasury is in Fresno this weekend helping to sell the idea of tax rebates and to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

    The hope is putting money in folks pockets will get them to spend it. It's a gamble on whether it will keep the country from slipping into recession, but as the survey showed, most folks feel they can use the money.

    Most of us like the idea of getting some of our money back from the government even if we don't know how we'll spend it.

    Laura Hernandez, Fresno, says "I'm not sure how much I'm going to get, but $600 will be great, extra money to buy anything."

    The amount's will vary based on income, and number of dependents but most people will get $600 to $1,200 some will get more and some will get only $300. The Governments goal is to get folks spending again.

    Laurie Easley, Fresno, says "What I'd do with it, is, hey, a new set of tires, so that's where it's going to go when I receive it."

    Former Treasury Secretary Rosario Marin is in Fresno and says the stimulus plan should help. "Many people say but it's only $600, or it's only $1,500 a family will get, the reality is, maybe $600 is not a lot, but when it goes to millions of people then that money going into economy has a very positive economic effect," says Marin.

    Marin, who served in the White House during the presidents first term, now works for California's Governor. She says Fresno residents really need the economic help.

    She cites home foreclosure figures, noting 1,500 foreclosed Fresno homes are on the auction block. More than 1,400 homes taken back by banks in foreclosure are up for sale, and more than 2,300 Fresno homes are on the brink of foreclosure.

    The money from the stimulus package may not be enough to save homes from foreclosure, but the idea is, till things get better, every little bit helps.

    "So, even though right now it's difficult for some individuals and that's why we're here to help, the reality is we have a very, very strong economic system, we're going to get through this, our economy will go up again prices will go up again, home values will go up again, and it will be okay," Marin says.

    So while, the federal government is planning to put checks in the mail, the state is offering assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.


    Load Comments