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THOUSANDS of Americans have just hours to apply for a guaranteed income scheme that will see recipients get monthly $500 checks.

Officials in Mount Vernon, New York have introduced a program that’s known as Level Up.

1Hundreds of New Yorkers are set to receive $500 monthly paymentsCredit: Getty

Payments will be sent monthly to 200 residents and the deadline to apply is August 5 at 11:59pm.

Households must earn up at least $15,000 annually to qualify for the direct income scheme.

Income caps vary by household size, but families must make less than 80% of the county's average income to qualify.

The applicants will be randomly selected to participate in the universal basic income pilot.

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Officials expect to notify successful applicants this month.

Households selected for the program will also be asked to complete surveys about their overall health and well-being.

Mayor Shawyn Patterson Howard said: “We are committed to building a dignity economy for the residents of Mount Vernon.

"I fully support guaranteed income for residents.

"I’m excited to join a coalition of innovative and forward-thinking mayors who are not afraid to push for critical resources for their community."

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The program costs $1.2million, according to the Rockland Westchester Journal News.

A control group of 275 people won’t receive the monthly payments but will get a $30 gift card for responding to surveys to track their well-being.

 Residents in Mountain View, California, to apply for a $500 UBI program.

The maximum annual income to be eligible is $44,750 in 2021 for a family of three.

Applications are expected to open in mid-to-late summer, according to the city.

And more than 100 immigrant families in Coachella in California will be able to apply for $9,600 worth of payments.  

Immigrant families with young children who have been excluded from federal relief will be prioritized.

Meanwhile, more than 100 residents in Ithaca, New York, received their first $450 payment in June as part of an income scheme.

Between 400 and 600 people applied for the program, officials said.

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The money is being sent in the form of a prepaid debit card.

Only care providers whose 2021 income was below 80 per cent of the area’s median are entitled to the cash.

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Author William Doyle on New Book Spotlighting Sen. Orrin Hatchs Standout Nonpartisan Legislation

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Legislation Would Exempt Ohio’s Fully Disabled Veterans from Property Taxes

State Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) is spearheading an effort to end property taxation for fully disabled military veterans and their surviving spouses in the Buckeye State.

According to the legislature’s official analysis of Patton’s bill, Ohio presently exempts $50,000 of the assessed value of homes owned by honorably discharged veterans who the federal Department of Veterans Affairs has given a 100-percent disability rating. Individuals so designated are considered severely impaired and unable to function professionally. A deceased veteran’s surviving wife or husband can access the exemption if the veteran received the benefit the year he or she died, lived at the residence during the veteran’s passing and continues to own that home. 

Patton’s measure would broaden the current exemption to cover a homestead’s entire value. No income limit applies to the current benefit and none would apply under the representative’s legislation. 

Patton says the bill cannot go forward this late in the legislative session but he hopes it will gain significant traction for passage subsequently. The representative, whose father and older brother both served in the Armed Forces, said a member of his local VFW Post 3345 in Strongsville urged him to take up this cause and noted that 19 states exempt 100-percent disabled veterans from all property taxes.

“We’d really like our disabled veterans who have given so much to know that the people of Ohio truly care about them,” he said.

According to Veterans Data Central, a website operated by the nonprofit Housing Assistance Council (HAC), Ohio’s veterans, who are over one-tenth of the state’s homeowners, face certain economic pressures at higher rates than state residents in general. Ohio Veterans do have a 4.1 percent unemployment rate and a 7.2 percent poverty rate, both below the rates of the state’s general population. Yet Ohio veterans’ median household income is currently $55,000, about $1,600 lower than the median income of all state households.

HAC also observes that an estimated 730 of the state’s veterans are homeless. The organization further opines that over one-fifth of the roughly 700,000 veterans living in the Buckeye State pay excessive rates for their housing and suggests that affordability is “the greatest housing problem among veterans.” 

Homeowners — over three-quarters of the Ohio’s veteran population — can feel the problem especially acutely in certain locales. While real estate tax levels in Ohio vary according to county, the state has an average property tax rate of 1.57 percent, the 13th highest in the nation according to tax-preparation company H&R Block. Homeowners in Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Montgomery counties pay tax rates of more than two percent on average.

And when considered regionally, these levies contribute to a relatively high tax state burden, which includes a graduated personal income tax with a top rate of 3.99 percent and a sales-tax rate of 5.75 percent. Ohio’s combined state and local tax burden, effectively at 10 percent, exceeds that of four of its five bordering states, the exception being Pennsylvania whose effective tax rate is 10.6 percent.

Ohio’s local real estate taxes fund schools, law-enforcement agencies, municipal and county services and local amenities. The state reimburses localities for tax exemptions that veterans receive under current law and would cover further revenue losses that would result if Patton’s bill is enacted.

Veterans who want to acquire the partial homestead exemption already available to them must apply to their county auditor’s office and must provide the administrator with a copy of his or her discharge papers. Patton’s proposal maintains this requirement.

– – –

Bradley Vasoli is managing editor of The Ohio Star. Follow Brad on Twitter at @BVasoli. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Military Family” by George Pak.


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