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April 4, 2024
Empowering Hope: The Journey Toward Expanding the Child Tax Credit in 2024″

Empowering Hope: The Journey Toward Expanding the Child Tax Credit in 2024″

Advocating for the Expansion of the Child Tax Credit

Toyia Moore, the executive director of the Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance in Hammond, is at the forefront of advocating for the expansion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) in the face of political obstacles. Despite the bipartisan support garnered in the House for the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024, which includes provisions for expanding the CTC, the bill faces significant resistance in the Senate, particularly from GOP members. This resistance, however, hasn’t dampened the hopes of family advocates like Moore, who see the potential positive impact on low-income households and their children.

Child Tax Credit

The proposed expansion aims to increase the refundable portion of the tax credit, reaching $2,000 by 2025. It also seeks to adjust the phase-in rate to ensure that families with multiple children can benefit more substantially. While opponents argue that such expansions are costly and may incentivize behaviors like single parenthood, proponents emphasize the significant benefits to children and families. Studies have shown that expanding the CTC could lift millions of children out of poverty, including an estimated 326,000 children in low-income households in Indiana alone.

Moore and others have witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of the CTC on struggling families. The relief provided by the 2021 expansion during the pandemic helped families cover essential expenses like rent, medical bills, and childcare. It also prevented them from resorting to predatory financial options like payday loans, offering a sense of stability and security. Additionally, the extra funds allowed families to invest in their children’s extracurricular activities, fostering a sense of normalcy and social inclusion.

Beyond immediate financial relief, an expanded Child Tax Credit could have broader societal benefits. Research suggests that increased financial stability for low-income families may lead to higher voter participation and community involvement, ultimately strengthening communities. By enabling families to invest in education, healthcare, and community engagement, the Child Tax Credit expansion could pave the way for long-term economic and social empowerment.

However, challenges remain in gaining Senate approval for the bill. While Indiana Senators Todd Young and Mike Braun have expressed varying levels of support for the broader tax relief package, the fate of the Child Tax Credit expansion hangs in the balance. Advocacy groups like Prosperity Indiana continue to push for the expansion, emphasizing its importance amidst rising inflation and living costs.

One point of contention is the “look back” provision, which allows families to base their tax credit on the previous year’s earnings, providing a buffer for income fluctuations. While opponents fear this provision may disincentivize work, advocates argue that it offers crucial support for families facing financial instability.

Ultimately, Moore stresses the need for comprehensive support beyond the Child Tax Credit expansion. Rising costs of living, coupled with stagnant wages, continue to strain household budgets, leaving many families vulnerable to emergencies and unforeseen expenses. As the debate over the tax relief bill unfolds, advocates like Moore remain committed to ensuring that struggling Hoosier families receive the support they desperately need.

Reference Article – https://indianacitizen.org/child-credit-expanding-child-tax-credit-seen-as-helping-low-income-families-communities-thrive/

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