The expanded child tax credit, which expired at the end of 2021, was not renewed after the Build Back Better package supported by the Democrats failed to pass the Senate, thanks to opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) along with all fifty Senate Republicans.
Now, however, one state is moving towards passing a child tax credit of its own—and it's one of the reddest states in the country.
According to WSFA, both houses of the state legislature in Alabama have passed what’s been described as “a tax break for families who received the federal child tax credit.” The bills, which would save families a total of $87 million, is now moving to the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey after passing nearly unanimously.
“If you have two children, this is probably right around $200 that they will not pay,” Sen. Dan Roberts, sponsor of SB152 in the Senate, told WSFA. “They’ll get a tax credit on it and save them $200 in taxes.”
“One of the problems was that people were working, and their children were not in school. So they had to pay extra money to help somebody take care of their children while at work,” Rep. Jim Carns, the House sponsor, told the news outlet.
According to AL.com, which cited the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), when the expanded child credit was passed at the federal level, 91 percent of Alabamians spent the money on “basic things such as food, clothing, rent, mortgage and utilities.” That percentage for most states was in the 1980s or 1990s, although in some parts of the country it was in the 1970s.
“Extending the expanded credit and making the Child Tax Credit fully available on a permanent basis to families with low incomes would improve children’s lives in the near and long term and benefit society overall in important ways,” the CBPP report said. “Additional income is linked to better outcomes for children in families with low income, including better educational performance and attainment, higher earnings in adulthood, and better health, which can yield benefits for children and their communities over the course of their lives, studies show.”
Indeed, a report this week by the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University found that while the enactment of the expanded child tax credit successfully reduced child poverty last year, the credit’s expiration caused it to rise again.
“The monthly child poverty rate increased from 12.1 percent in December 2021 to 17 percent in January 2022, the highest rate since the end of 2020,” the Center’s report said, adding that the expiration put 3.7 million more children in poverty.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.