Make Connecticut a Family-Friendly State: Create a Permanent Child Tax Credit by Isabel Almeida, Margo Amgott, Mike Pacowta
Governor Ned Lamont set an important goal: to make Connecticut the most family-friendly state in America. It is time for our legislators to invest in our families, and the time to act is now. That is why we’re endorsing a permanent, fully refundable Connecticut Child Tax Credit of $600 per child.
Raising a child in Connecticut costs more than almost anywhere else in the country. We consistently rank among the top ten most expensive states for housing, and the top five most expensive states for child care.
Child tax credits can help offset the high cost of raising children by boosting the after-tax incomes of qualifying families. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “Child Tax Credits are associated with reduced poverty, higher financial and household stability, improved child and maternal health, students’ educational achievement, children’s future economic outcomes and more.” The Institute notes that these policies are especially important for the economic security and financial stability of families with lower incomes.
That’s vital in Connecticut, where women and families of color face undue economic stress. Notably, 73% of single-female-headed households, 57% of Black households, and 63% of Hispanic households with children fall at or below the threshold of income needed to live here (based on data from United Ways of Connecticut ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed). It’s also vital in a state where over 100,000 jobs are currently unfilled.
What difference can a permanent child tax credit make in the life of a family living in Fairfield or Litchfield County?
Elizabeth Parrish of Norwalk stated, “I work full-time as a senior product manager for a rug company. I am the only provider for my family of three, and due to my income, I don’t qualify for any additional assistance. Because I work full-time, I have to pay for my seven-year-old to attend an after-school program. And because I can’t afford daycare, my four-year-old has to be watched by his grandmother and doesn’t receive the valuable socialization that he needs. The Child Tax Rebate was very helpful… I used it to catch up on all the bills I was behind on and to buy food for my family.”
Our state needs a permanent Child Tax Credit to support our hard-working families with children—like Elizabeth’s. It’s time to make a sound investment to grow our workforce. It will pay dividends for years to come.
*(Authors represent United Way of Western CT, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, and Valley United Way, respectively)