Last week, many families across our community woke up to a deposit in their bank account via the Child Tax Credit. That money, signed into law by President Biden in the American Rescue Plan, has not …
Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.
Unlimited Digital Access: $3.99/month
Print + Digital: $5.99/month
Last week, many families across our community woke up to a deposit in their bank account via the Child Tax Credit. That money, signed into law by President Biden in the American Rescue Plan, has not received enough attention. It is one of the most pro-family policies enacted by our Congress in generations.
Too often, middle- and low-income families get the short end of the stick. The Child Tax Credit is the first substantial extension of our nation’s safety net in years, and it could not come at a better time. As our economy heats up, working families are ready to get back into the workforce. This money will help ensure that basic necessities are within reach for families across the nation.
Here’s how the Child Tax Credit works: Families with children under the age of 6 received $300 per child and families with children age 6 to 17 received $250 per child. The payments will be made monthly through January 2022, unless the program is made permanent. Democrats in Congress support extending the program and it would be wise to do so; experts at The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at the Columbia School of Social Work estimate that child poverty would be nearly halved.
In North Carolina, the effects of the program will be substantial. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that more than 450,000 rural children in our state would benefit — 94% of all rural children.
The tax credit is immediate and impactful. It can be used to help with child care, a medical bill, or a summer family outing. It is extremely simple and inexpensive to administer. The benefits go beyond the family receiving the credit. Most of the money will be spent locally, helping small businesses, creating local jobs, and generating local tax revenue that pays for police and schools.
The expanded Child Tax Credit is a welcome addition to the lives of working people across this state and our local communities. As the rollout continues, it is important no one gets left behind who is eligible. If a family has filed recent tax returns or received stimulus checks over the last year, they should get the checks automatically. Those who have not filed a tax return recently can visit IRS.gov to find more information and sign up for the benefits online.
The expanded Child Tax Credit will help middle class and working families. It will help children living in poverty. Help spread the word about its importance so everyone who is eligible receives their fair share. Finally, contact your member of Congress and United States Senators and ask them to make the Child Tax Credit permanent.
Rep. Robert Reives II represents District 54 (all of Chatham County and a portion of Durham County) in the N.C. House of Representatives. He lives in Goldston.