With Gas Prices Soaring, New Legislation Would Provide Rebate Checks to Americans

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Illinois Reps. Lauren Underwood and Jesús “Chuy” Garcia are listed as co-sponsors of a bill to provide Americans with monthly rebate checks to help defray the escalating costs of gasoline, with a windfall profits tax being levied against oil companies to help pay for the program.

According to the “Stop Gas Price Gouging tax and Rebate Act,” introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio, single Americans making less than $75,000 annually, or those filing joints returns for less than $150,000 in income, would be eligible for the monthly, advanced and refundable rebate checks.

“Every day, I hear from my constituents about how rising gas prices are impacting their quality of life,” Underwood said in a statement. “They deserve relief, which is why I helped introduce this legislation to put money back in the pockets of families to help them afford rising energy costs while holding greedy oil and gas companies accountable.”

The rebates will come from a one-time “windfall tax” on oil companies. Those companies made more than $200 billion in profits in 2021, according to press releases from the lawmakers sponsoring the legislation.

According to Underwood, companies would face a one-time 50% “windfall profit tax” on adjusted taxable income in 2022 that exceeds 110% of their average ATI during the pre-pandemic years of 2015-to-2019.

Companies that produced in excess of 300,000 barrels of oil in a given year would be impacted by the program.

As of Tuesday, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is $4.242, a drop of seven cents from last week, consumer group AAA says. Exactly one year ago, the average price of a gallon of fuel stood at $2.88.

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