Covid-19 relief

COVID Relief Checks on Way for Some in Maryland; Comptroller Says Measure Falls Short

The package provides tax relief for those on unemployment and small businesses, expands the earned income tax credit and provides $100 million in additional grants to businesses and nonprofits

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Checks are in the mail for some Maryland residents who qualify for the state's RELIEF Act of 2021, part of a $1 billion package offering tax relief and economic stimulus for families and small businesses signed by republican Gov. Larry Hogan. 

The RELIEF Act provides direct stimulus checks to hundreds of thousands of the state’s residents, $500 for families and $300 for individuals. It also provides tax relief for those on unemployment and small businesses, expands the earned income tax credit and provides $100 million in additional grants to businesses and nonprofits.

“Many will see their payments posted in their bank accounts at the end of this week," Peter Franchot, the comptroller of Maryland, said. "I mean I'm talking Friday."

News4's Darcy Spencer breaks down the bill and has new reaction on what this help could mean for local families.

Some will get checks in the mail in the next few weeks, but there's no money for middle-class families who have lost work or been impacted and no money for immigrants, even those who have paid taxes in Maryland.

“There are restrictive federal rules which prevent us from providing or considering any assistance to 86,000 wonderful, hardworking tax paying Maryland immigrant families,” Franchot said. 

Delegate Wankia Fisher, who represents Prince George’s County, said she’s happy there will be help with utility bills, housing assistance for those behind on their rent and more money for food pantries. 

However, she is also concerned that immigrants who do not have social security numbers, including those who are undocumented, will not get direct stimulus payments.

During the Franchot's press conference, there were hundreds of comments.

One person said they expected more money, while another asked about the middle-class. The comptroller, who did not agree with the package, referred to the payments as "so-called relief" and said it was not enough.

“I feel very strongly that it falls far, far short of the goal of genuine relief,” Franchot said. 

There are more than 6,500 residents the comptroller can't send money to because their mailing addresses need to be verified. To make sure your information is up to date, check the status of your check or see if you qualify, go to MarylandTaxes.gov. 

"This is the biggest relief package of its kind in state history, and we appreciate the Comptroller doing his job and getting this much-needed relief out the door to people in need," Michael Ricci, the director of communications for Gov. Hogan, said. "It’s not a day for politics."

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