Spending Tax Rebates

6/8/2008 Fresno, CA More than 66 million Americans have already gotten their economic stimulus checks, but here in the valley that money isn't exactly stimulating the economy.

"We just put it into our savings so if we need it, it will be there," said Clovis resident Liz Gonzales.

Kim Gibson of Fresno did the same thing with her check. "Now I have a little nest egg. Instead of living paycheck to paycheck, I know 'hey, I have something in savings,'" said Gibson.

According to an exclusive Action News survey conducted by Survey USA, nearly 45% of people in the valley are using the money to pay bills, 16% say they're using it for a major purchase, 14% are using it for everyday expenses, and 13% are saving it.

One in ten said they'll do something fun with the money. Sanger's Vera Pryor falls into that category. She's planning a vacation. "I bought my ticket to go, and then, just buying a few things left over," said Pryor.

The shaky economy and the cost of fuel have some people choosing to hold on their money, while others are trying to make their dollars go further.

Syd Newsom with Tri Sport Bicycles in Fresno said gas prices are affecting bike sales. Newsom said customers are using their tax rebates on bikes and accessories so they don't have to buy gas. "We've been selling a ton of racks for bikes, a ton of accessories, grocery bags for bikes. People are trying to be eco-friendly and save some money also, as for gas goes," said Newsom.

While some are using bikes to save money, some are promising to use their tax rebates to help others. "There are things, problems that can be helped. And I will do the best I can. As I said, it will be spent before I receive," said Hazoor Khan of Fresno.

The IRS has issued just over half of the tax rebates so far. They're scheduled to go out through mid-July, and they'll go out later in the year for those who filed their taxes after April 15th.

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