What could the stimulus relief package look like for you?

“It is very much for the individual"
Posted at 4:58 PM, Dec 21, 2020

TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) — What could the stimulus relief package look like for you?

Federal lawmakers agreed to a $900 billion package for pandemic relief. It calls for more funding for businesses and the unemployed.

This much needed relief is expected to come soon as nearly 12-million Americans stand to loose access to unemployment benefits as an earlier COVID relief package is set to expire at the end of the month.

Tim Eliason, EG Tax in Tonawanda, in a Zoom interview.

“Make sure that people understand that — this is for them,” stated Tim Eliason, EG Tax in Tonawanda.

Eliason is helping to answer questions about what to expect from this stimulus package.

It calls to provide $600 to those earning less than $75,000 a year.

“If it's married, filing joint with a couple of kids that qualify as dependents that would be $600 for mom — $600 for each of the kids,” Eliason explained.

And there is extra help from the federal government for those who are unemployed.

“Over and above what you receive from the state — which is great, and the other thing to is — they've expanded it for the self-employed people, which is even more outstanding,” declared Eliason.

EG Tax provided the highlights of the bill:

• $600 per person direct payments (tax-free) to each individual on a tax return including dependents for returns with gross income less than $75,000 filing single or $150,000 married filing joint

• Non-U.S. citizens will be eligible for the $600 provided on of the taxpayers on the return is a U.S. Citizen

• Unemployment benefits are expanded by $300 for another 11 weeks above current state benefits. Self employed taxpayers with over $5000 qualify for an additional 13 weeks of benefits of $400 per week. Self-employment income of less that $5000 qualify for $300 per week for 13 weeks.

• New round of PPP (Payroll Protection) loans available which are specifically targeted at small business

• Expands employee protection credits

• Expands the earned income credit

• Expands deductibility of business meal expense deduction

• Expands the extender deductions for an additional 2 years

• An expansion of food stamp (SNAP) benefits

• The eviction ban is extended until January 31st, 2021

• Forgiveness of nearly $1.3 billion in student loans

This time the stimulus package calls to include payroll protection for small businesses.

“This one does sound like it is very much for the individual — the small business — take advantage of it,” Eliason noted.

But the president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Dottie Gallagher, says two significant things are missing from this stimulus package; employer liability coverage that would protect from frivolous COVID lawsuits and also there is no money in this package for state and local governments.

president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Dottie Gallagher, during a Zoom interview.

“The cost of COVID on government is incredible and not only that their own revenue channels have been disrupted with sales tax revenue, etc,” described Gallagher.

But Gallagher says she believes funding for local governments and the state could be considered by federal lawmakers into the New Year.

"Because otherwise those costs roll right down to taxpayers and certainly taxpayers can't afford increased taxes and businesses can't afford increased taxes at this time,” Gallagher noted.

Right now, without help for local government's it could affect those relying on public assistance to feed their families.

“They're putting the money into snap to help people that are maybe laid off that need additional food benefits,” Eliason said.

The following are highlights provided by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership relating to businesses:

  • $352 billion targeted for small business relief, including:
    • $284 billion for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including:
      • Expanded PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits
      • Ability for restaurants and hospitality businesses to receive larger awards
      • Specific set asides for very small businesses and underserved businesses accessing funding through community-based lenders
      • Streamlined forgiveness for loans of $150,000 or less
    • $20 billion for new EIDL grants through SBA
    • $15 billion in dedicated funding for cultural institutions, live venues, and independent movie theaters
  • A provision to expand and extend the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit which was originally passed as part of the CARES Act earlier this year
  • $69 billion for testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution efforts
  • $45 billion in transportation funding to be available to transit agencies, airline and airline contractors, airports, state DOTs, and other transportation sectors
  • $82 billion in education funding to both K-12 schools and higher education institutions
  • $25 billion to create an emergency federal rental assistance program to be distributed by state and local governments
  • $26 billion for nutrition programs
  • $10 billion to support the childcare sector including assistance to families and funding for providers dealing with increasing operating costs
  • $7 billion to expand access to broadband

U.S Senator Charles Schumer says the total for New York State is $54 billion, that would include $5.8 billions for education.

$20 bills.

"This #COVID relief bill delivers more than $54 billion to New York workers, families, renters, small businesses, state government, vaccine funds, and more. It’s a start but not enough. We'll work to provide even more under President Biden," stated Senator Schumer.

Here are some of the highlights of how funding would be provided for education according to Schumer:

$5.8 billion – education stabilization fund
· $4b – elementary and secondary school emergency relief fund, provides relief to k-12 public schools across the state of new york.
· $1.4b – higher education emergency relief fund, directs funds to New York’s university system, like SUNY and CUNY.
· $313m – governor’s emergency education relief fund, the governor can use these funds at his discretion to support the state’s k-12 education and higher education needs related to COVID-19.

But all this is pending as final House approval is needed.