AGs urging Congress to permanently extend expanded child tax credit

Boston Statehouse

AGs across country say this proven, systemic solution to lift millions of children out of poverty should be a priority in reconciliation bill

The Child Tax Credit will result in monthly payments to an estimated 39 million households (Getty Images)

BOSTON (Mass.gov) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is leading a coalition of 22 attorneys general in urging Congress to permanently extend the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), which provides a proven and systemic solution that would lift millions of children out of poverty. This week, AG Healey also issued FAQs on the Child Tax Credit, which can be found here in multiple languages.

The multistate letter sent today calls on members of Congress to permanently extend the expanded CTC in the upcoming reconciliation package. In the letter, the coalition highlights how the CTC provides a solution to address the wide range of harms and costs of childhood poverty on children, families, and state governments. The coalition is calling on Congress to offer a federal solution through a permanent, expanded, and fully refundable CTC.

“It is imperative that we work to alleviate childhood poverty, which produces cascading negative consequences for the health and well-being of children and families in our country,” said AG Healey. “We urge Congress to permanently implement this expanded tax credit to help lift millions of children out of poverty and reduce the racial income gap. This is a commonsense and achievable solution to support families and children struggling here in Massachusetts and across the country.”

 One in seven children in the country, including in Massachusetts, live in poverty. Low-income children face higher rates of food and housing insecurity, worse health outcomes, and decreased chances of academic and career success. Childhood poverty also has negative effects on state costs and budgets, including additional health care and special education spending, higher child protective and criminal justice costs, and lower tax payments and foregone revenue.

A permanent, expanded, fully refundable CTC would lift about half of poor children out of poverty and bring myriad benefits to millions of children and their families, from better infant health to improved chances of finishing high school, enrolling in post-secondary programs, and earning higher incomes in adulthood. States would benefit from these effects as well as from increased consumer spending in state and local economies and decreased government spending on costs such as health care and special education.

The letter also urges Congress to provide sufficient funding to raise public awareness about the CTC and make the sign-up process easier to navigate. This additional funding would help ensure that the CTC reaches the most vulnerable families and communities.

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

If a debt collector tries to take your Child Tax Credit payment, you can call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint www.mass.gov/ago/consumercomplaint.

Earlier this month, AG Healey issued guidance to protect families receiving a federal child tax credit from debt collection practices. The AG’s guidance ensures that these payments go directly to help families meet the needs of their children. 

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