The American Rescue Plan we just passed includes a big win for working families: a dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. I’ve been pushing for us to expand these tax credits for years, because they’re two of the most important tools we have to make hard work pay off and lift kids out of poverty. This expansion will mean more money in the pockets of nearly two million Ohio families.
From childcare to health insurance, from transportation to trying to put money away for college, a hard day’s work doesn’t begin to cover expenses for millions of families.
Even before this pandemic, hard work wasn’t paying off. Wages have been flat for decades, while the cost of everything has gone up – particularly the cost of raising kids.
My plan will help families keep up with the cost of living by making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increasing the amount to $3,000 per child, and $3,600 for a child under age six. It also significantly expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children. Right now, these workers can be taxed into poverty, and our bill wills fix that. In addition, it will allow taxpayers to use their 2019 income to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit if their 2021 income was less than 2019 income – ensuring that Ohioans aren’t penalized for financial challenges brought on by the pandemic.
This is an issue I have been working on for years — it would cut child poverty in half in Ohio, and put more money in the pockets of working families at a time when they need it most.
Research shows that these credits are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people, pull children out of poverty, and help families keep up with the cost of living. Americans across the political spectrum, in all kinds of communities around the country, support this plan and this financial boost will make a difference in Ohio families’ lives.
Democrat Sherrod Brown represents Ohio in the U.S. Senate.