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Emergency funds for local residents out of work: Where to go and how to apply

Original post made on Mar 25, 2020

Millions of dollars in emergency funds are now available for residents who have lost wages due to the new coronavirus.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 3:41 PM

Comments (2)

2 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 25, 2020 at 9:35 pm

According to Gavin Newsom, five of the nation's largest banks are suspending residential mortgage payments for at least this month. This includes Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase. In fact, Bank of America is actually extending their moratorium on mortgage payments even longer.

It would be nice if the federal and state governments worked with banks to accomplish this -- but with the stipulation that this moratorium is passed down to renters too. I realize that some property owners already fully-own their properties. It would be nice if something could be arranged for them too (so that they, in turn, could pass such a moratorium to their renters).

2 people like this
Posted by High Cost of Living
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2020 at 11:22 pm

"At the federal level, early details are emerging Wednesday morning about a $2 trillion stimulus package that allocates $250 billion for payments to families and $350 billion in unemployment benefits. "

Yeah, except as usual, there is no sense of the difference in cost-of-living across the country, so the places hardest hit by the pandemic lockdowns and illnesses will not get help except to the people on the very bottom rungs, and in the rest of the country, even wealthy people will get the funds. Add this to the horrendous tax increases only levied on people in the high cost-of-living states (with all the disadvantages in refinancing, etc), and there is going to be a lot of people losing their homes. Steven Mnuchin looks ebullient. (Look up how he profited from 2008, in case you haven't.)

Isn't it about time the Congress used a cost-of-living multiplier on limits when it comes to high cost of living states? Using the Sperling best places cost of living calculator (which doesn't include taxes or child care, by the way, so it doesn't even account for the fact that someone in the same economic stratum on the costs is paying far more in taxes), if the limit on getting the stimulus is $198,000 per couple, then the equivalent to someone in many middle states is:

If you are making $198,000 in many parts of the country, like many parts of TN, that's the equivalent economic situation of someone making $1.3 million in Palo Alto.

On the other hand, someone in Palo Alto making $198,000/yr, is the equivalent of someone making $30,000 in that same part of Tennessee.

The tax code is already wildly unfair to people in high cost of living areas, who don't control the cost of living (which is caused by supply and demand/external factors people have no control of themselves, and it's often not economically feasible to move). Given that tax policy and this stimulus have goals related to economic status, they should have to make cost-of-living adjustments to limits.

It's unfair that a really rich person in TN will get funding while someone already struggling to stay housed in our area after the massive tax increases on the lowest-end of the homeownersip spectrum, who makes the equivalent of someone making $30,000 (or less, across much of the country) will get nothing. Many renters in that income range here also saw their taxes go up. Millions of people did.

Especially in these times of all the basics disappearing from store shelves and there being no sales to be had whatsoever, there really needs to finally be a reckoning over cost-of-living differences. Given the pandemic, people can't really move around right now if they lose their homes either.

Someone needs to ask the potus point blank whether he stands by having given a tax "cut" and whether he will make it possible for anyone middle class (remember to use cost of living multipliers/divisors) whose taxes went up for 2018-2020 to apply for a rebate of the difference between, say, the average of their taxes for the three years prior to the change and what they had to pay after. But there should also be some kind of divisor applied to the incomes of people in high cost areas so that the provisions of the tax code aimed to help people in their exact economic circumstances are actually helped by those provisions.

I say any stimulus intended to help people with this should help everyone across the country equally, and not once again disproportionately benefit people , including rich people, in lower-cost-of-living states. (Notice, the state taxes are NOT what makes that difference.)

Ask your members of congress to adjust for cost of living, in the stimulus AND the tax code, or Californians are once again going to get the short end of the stick as we head into the most challenging of economic times.

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