Groups Push Congress to Make Child Tax Credit Permanent
Friday, July 23, 2021
PHOENIX -- Starting this week, most Arizona families with children are seeing extra money in their bank accounts, and more than 1.5 million Arizona kids will benefit.
The new monthly payments of $250 to $300 per child, per family, are part of an expanded federal Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan Congress approved in March.
The money can be used for anything families need; groceries, rent, utility bills, or childcare.
Ilana Lowery, Arizona director for the nonprofit Common Sense, said the only problem with the plan is, it expires at the end of this year.
"We really want to urge Congress to extend those benefits because after six months, if it goes away at the end of the year, what happens then?" Lowery questioned. "We want Congress to include a permanent extension in the upcoming American Family Plan."
President Joe Biden has proposed extending the tax credit through 2025 as part of his American Families Plan. Republicans say the plan is too expensive and would put taxpayer dollars at risk for fraud or improper payments.
A Census Bureau survey last month found one-third of Arizona families with children were having problems paying their bills, 15% often didn't have enough to eat, and 12% said they were behind on their rent.
Lowery pointed out an expanded Child Tax Credit especially helps families living at or below the poverty line.
"Children that grow up in poverty, even for short periods of time, they have such long-term consequences; I mean, emotional stress, poor health," Lowery outlined. "This is a big deal, and this money can help families rise up out of poverty."
Congress is currently negotiating with the White House over which items will be included in the American Families Plan.
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