SAN DIEGO — It was a spike in gas prices that first led to the idea of refunds, but then lawmakers in Sacramento decided to make it based on income and it morphed into something that is now called the Middle Class Tax Refund. The money started going out in October, so why are so many San Diegans still waiting on their refunds?
The California Franchise Tax Board's website says direct deposits started going out Oct. 7 and were supposed to finish Nov. 14. But when we checked the website Monday morning, it said 6.7 million direct deposits were sent.
Later that afternoon, that number jumped to 6.9 million, so clearly they didn't finish two weeks ago.
“Those refunds, all of them should be out by now,” said Political Analyst Steve Swatt. He says the whole point of this money was to help Californians pay for spiking gas prices in early spring, but bickering in Sacramento over who should get the money caused massive delays.
“It is sort of typical of the way politics work that they tried to do something, but couldn't get it done until the end of June and that delayed payments for everyone," Swatt said.
It turns out some San Diegans who have been paying higher gas prices won't even be getting money from the state.
“I'm one of three million seniors who will not be getting the stimulus check,” said El Cajon resident Rosemarie Hamilton.
Hamilton doesn't make enough money to have to file a tax return. Because of that, she won't be getting the refund, but she drives a car and is being hit hard by inflation.
“When I'm living on such a fixed income and how expensive everything is in California, with groceries, inflation, my rent - I live in a mobile home park - is going up. I just can't afford to stay here,” Hamilton said.
CBS 8 reached out to several local elected leaders representing us in Sacramento, along with the franchise tax board, and all of them said they weren't available for an interview.
The state's website says debit cards are currently being mailed out by last name and right now they're on “N through V”.
The amount you'll get ranges by income and marital status from $200 up to $1,050.
The cutoff is $250,000 a year for individuals and $500,000 for couples.
WATCH RELATED: California's Middle Class Tax Refund | Who gets the relief checks and when? (Oct. 2022).
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