California refunds: You could receive $1,000 check thanks to state surplus

How would you like to get a $1,000 check from the state

According to California’s legislative analysts, you might be owed that much, if the projected budget surplus — estimated at about $45.7 billion — is as large as they are thinking it will be. 

Back in 1979, California voters approved (by a large majority) Proposition 4, known as the Gann Limit, which sets a constitutional limit on how much tax revenue the state can actually spend. The limit caps the state’s spending to its 1978-79 levels, allowing for some growth based on population and personal income. In other words, if we paid too much in taxes, we should get it back.

While Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget did not include any such refund, when asked, he has said that he probably would include some kind of stimulus rebate in his final draft. 


He better, say legislators like State Sen Brian Jones, from the San Diego area. How much should we get? According to him, about $1,125 per person, or $4500 for a family of four. 

Susan Shelley from the Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association, explains that politicians are mandated to give some money to education, and refund the rest. But quickly adds that they do have an option to decide how to do the refund, as long as it’s fair, under the law. So, they could issue tax rebates, perhaps. 

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If you want to literally, ask for your money back – look up your legislator and write or call. If you don’t know who they are, check out

I don’t know about you, but I sure could use the money right now. 

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