Stimulus Checks: Why Homeowners in This Texas County Get an Extra $500

Montgomery County, Texas homeowners will soon be able to apply for an additional $500 stimulus payment. The idea was first approved in a County Commissioners meeting on June 1 with plans for applications to open by July 1. However, the program has been delayed while officials await approval from the U.S. Treasury. The program would be paid using part of the $105 million the county was allotted in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act Washington passed in March.

County Commissioner James Noack proposed using $65 million of the allotted money from the CARES Act to give help taxpayers during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Community Impact. Each homesteaded property owner would receive $500 after completing an application. According to Noack's office, there are about 130,721 homesteaded properties in Montgomery County, which is located about 40 miles north of Houston and includes The Woodlands. In order to qualify, residents must be a U.S. citizen and own a homesteaded property in the county as of April 1.

Noack hoped the application process could start for homesteaded property owners by July 1. However, the county is still waiting for approval from the U.S. Treasury, Noack said in a statement. Noack said he was working with the County Attorney's Office and federal elected officials to get the approval soon. It has to be in writing because CARES Act funds fall under "claw back," which means the Treasury could ask the count to give back the money if the proposal does not meet their guidelines. Noack told KHOU that once people can start applying, homeowners will have 45 days to apply.

While Washington has not come to an agreement on a second stimulus check at the national level since the CARES Act was passed, local governments have found ways to use CARES Act funds for other types of direct payments to help residents. For example, Louisiana has created a program to provide frontline workers with a one-time $250 payment. In order to be eligible, a resident must have worked at least 200 hours between March 22 and May 14 and earn $50,000 or less in 2019. Louisiana residents can start applying for the program, which will be funded through $50 million of Louisiana's cut of CARES Act money, beginning next week.

The CARES Act's one-time payment was $1,200 sent to American taxpayers earning $75,000 or less in 2018 or 2019. House Democrats did pass the HEROES Act in May, and it did include a second stimulus payment. However, that is not going to be taken up in the Senate, as Republicans are debating their own plans.