Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Virginia Group Calling for Child Tax Credit Revival

According to the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy, the expanded child tax credit helped reduce child poverty, reduce food insufficiency, and help families afford basic necessities. (Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND — Family and child advocates are hoping to see a revival of the expanded Child Tax Credit approved by Congress by the end of this year.

According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the expanded Child Tax Credit kept 5.3 million families above the poverty line in 2021.

This comes as Congress is considering approval of corporate business tax breaks.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, members of Congress are committed to opposing a business tax cut package if help for families in the expanded Child Tax Credit isn’t included.

Emily Griffey, chief policy officer at Voices for Virginia’s Children, said there are alternatives if a federal Child Tax Credit is not revived.

“Virginia is experiencing an unprecedented budget surplus,” said Griffey, “and we’d love to see the Virginia lawmakers reflect that families and parents are a priority in Virginia’s budget by returning some of our budget surplus to families with children.”

If Congress doesn’t revive the child tax credit, Griffey said she wants to make a push for the Virginia General Assembly to approve a state-level credit.

She said she remains hopeful the expanded child tax credit might be passed by the end of the year by the lame-duck Congress.

But, she said she worries if it’s not approved, it will be bogged down in partisanship in the new Congress.

Griffey said she sees there will be challenges in trying to get this approved at such a late date. However, she said she feels there are more reasons to revive the expanded child tax credit than to leave it alone.

“We haven’t had this in the past. Why do this now?” said Griffey. “I think it’s time to challenge that perception. We have a great example of how the expanded tax credit has worked in the past. We know that it helps families. The question is, if we know something works, why aren’t we doing it now?”

She said she wants to make sure any revived expansion of the credit needs to be more inclusive of Black families, and that the lowest income families will be eligible too.

According to a different report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 368,000 Virginia kids younger than age 17 were left out of the expanded Child Tax Credit.

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