Maryland General Assembly passes RELIEF Act to provide stimulus checks to qualifying residents

The Maryland General Assembly on Friday approved an economic relief act that would provide stimulus checks to low-income families and tax relief for small businesses. 

Proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan, the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs, and Families (RELIEF) Act totals more than $1 billion and provides $300 for individuals and $500 for families who qualify for a state earned income tax credit. The governor is expected to sign the act Monday, according to WTOP. 

“The RELIEF Act will deliver more than $1 billion in tax relief and economic stimulus for struggling families and small businesses. It will help Marylanders barely hanging on right now as we work to bring this global pandemic to an end,” Mr. Hogan said in a statement.

The earned income tax credit requires a social security number, and therefore, exclude thousands of Maryland taxpayers from receiving stimulus payments, advocates have warned. 

House Democrats on Thursday amended the act to include people who file taxes with individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITIN) who meet the tax income credit guidelines to receive stimulus checks, but the proposal was rejected and withdrawn Friday after objections from Republican lawmakers, WTOP reported. 

Lawmakers are reportedly planning to pass separate legislation next week to offer ITIN filers financial assistance.

Mr. Hogan introduced the relief measure last month after calls for more aid for families and businesses from Maryland leaders. 

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