Indiana News

Billions in COVID stimulus payments, tax credits, local relief coming to Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — Billions of dollars are coming to Indiana from the federal coronavirus relief package.

Preliminary estimates show roughly $5.8 billion will be directed toward Indiana governments. The governor’s office says about $3 billion would go to state government, and $2.6 billion to cities and counties. State lawmakers want to have a say in how that money will be spent, in contrast to the $2.4 billion in pandemic relief funding allocated to Indiana last year that was handled by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration.

However, one of the biggest impacts for Hoosiers from the stimulus package signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden is a third round of stimulus checks, but not everyone who got the full amount the last two rounds will see the full $1,400 this time.

Kyle Anderson, an economist at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, said, “The bill was definitely trying to target it at families that need it the most so the income threshold has come down a little bit.”

People making less than $75,000 a year will receive the full $1,400 check, while couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $2,800. New in this stimulus bill, families will receive an additional $1,400 for each child and for each adult dependent 17 and older.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said direct deposits could begin reaching bank accounts on file with the Internal Revenue Service as soon as this weekend.

The economist, Anderson, said, “You know the goal of this is just to try to get us back to a normal economic environment and hopefully we are just a few months away from being there.”

Additionally, families can get a child tax credit of up to $1,600 per child, and relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the earned income tax credit for low-income, childless workers.

“The child care tax incentives, they really are bigger than anything we have seen in the past,” Anderson said.

In addition, the relief bill will bring $3.2 billion in state fiscal relief and $2.5 billion in local fiscal relief.

“If you think about the tax base during the last year, (it) was really down and so without this kind of support a lot of local governments were going to have to cut their budgets significantly,” Anderson said. “You know when they cut budgets like that it is generally jobs.”

The relief bill will also allocate $2 billion to Indiana K-12 schools.

“At least 20% of schools’ funds must be used to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions that respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.”

Indiana Department of Education

“With this legislation, we finally have the vital and comprehensive response to provide students, educators and families with desperately needed relief.

“With this federal assistance of $2 billion, every school building in Indiana will be able to put in place needed safety measures such as reducing class sizes and modernizing HVAC systems to keep our students and educators safe. We will also have the resources to expand needed technology and internet access. The investments in this legislation will also lift an immeasurable number of children and families out of poverty.

“ISTA and our local associations look forward to working with the state and local districts to help guide the best use of these funds for our schools and our communities.”

Keith Gambill, president, Indiana State Teachers Association

The bill also lowers marketplace health care premiums.