SCHUMER REVEALS: WITH OVER $440 MILLION EN ROUTE TO CAPITAL REGION FAMILIES THIS MONTH, ABOUT 5,000 FAMILIES STILL NEED TO ACT NOW TO GET THE SCHUMER-SECURED CHILD TAX CREDIT; WITH ALMOST 20% OF CAPITAL REGION’S KIDS LIVING IN POVERTY, SCHUMER PUSHES CAPITAL REGION FAMILIES TO FILE WITH IRS ASAP TO RECEIVE $$$
The American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit Expansion Provides Thousands of Dollars of Relief For Families Across Capital Region for 2021 – More Than An Estimated $440 Million Directly To Thousands Of Families
Refundable Tax Credit Will Go Out To Cap Region Families STARTING THIS MONTH, But Only To Families That Have Filed Form With IRS; Thousands Of Families STILL Need To File To Receive Payments
Following his successful passage of the broader American Rescue Plan earlier this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, in Green County with local leaders, detailed the new law’s historic and a significant Child Tax Credit expansion in Catskill, within NY’s Capital Region where nearly 20% of children live in poverty. Specifically, the senator announced an expansion of the Child Tax Credit – for which monthly payments will begin going out THIS MONTH – and urged the approximately 5,000 non-tax filers in the Capital Region to file with the IRS to receive their payments.
Schumer said the plan is one of the boldest initiatives ever taken to combat child poverty in America, and will have a significant impact on the thousands of children across the Capital Region who live in poverty. The senator was joined by Florence Ohle, Executive Director of Community Action Greene County; Commissioner Michelle McClave, Albany County Department of Social Services; Commissioner Kira Pospesel, Greene County Department of Social Services; Shaun Grouden, Greene County Administrator; Tina Sharpe, Executive Director of Columbia Opportunities; and local elected officials.
“Help is here for working families across the Capital Region, in the form of Child Tax Credits that will begin going out monthly, starting this month,” said Senator Schumer. “With over $440 million en route to the Capital Region, there are still roughly 5,000 families that need to act NOW to get the money they need to rebuild and recover from the pandemic.”
Schumer added, “Right now, thousands of families across the Capital Region rely on an important tax break – called the Child Tax Credit – to help them make ends meet. In the midst of the pandemic and economic crisis, this tax credit becomes all the more important for low- and middle-income families with young children who are trying to put food on the table. That is why I made sure this relief bill included help for those families – through this significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit that will cut the nation’s child poverty rate in half and bring necessary relief for Greene County’s working families. This credit expansion – on top of the $1,400 direct checks that came earlier this year – will provide working families with thousands of dollars of relief, directly in their pockets. Getting additional federal dollars into the hands of struggling families not only makes sense, but it’s what’s needed to help the Capital Region and New York recover from the pandemic.”
Schumer highlighted the need for non-tax-filing, eligible families – of which there are about 5,000 in the Capital Region – to file a form with the IRS as soon as possible. The senator said these families are also the most in need of the payments, but cannot receive them if they are not filed with the IRS. The American Rescue Plan stipulates that instead of having to wait to claim the entire tax credit on 2021 tax returns, eligible filers can receive half of this credit as an advance payment, received in equal installments starting in July through the end of the year. After that, those same families will be able to claim the remaining half of the credit when they file their 2021 tax returns next year. Schumer lauded this as another way the American Rescue Plan will help families by providing longer-term stability and additional economic assistance throughout the year, and as a means to put food on the table.
The portal for non-tax-filing families to file with the IRS is here: irs.gov/childtaxcredit2021.
Schumer explained the Child Tax Credit (CTC), one of the most powerful and effective anti-poverty tools the federal government has, was significantly expanded for low and middle-income households in the American Rescue Plan. This tax credit expansion will deliver an estimated $7.03 billion in additional economic relief to families with children across New York and have a major impact on Capital Region working families.
Schumer highlighted that researchers have estimated that the American Rescue Plan – including the expanded Child Tax Credit – will cut the child poverty rate in half nationally. Specifically, the relief bill increases the Child Tax Credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6) for 2021.
Additionally, the bill makes the CTC fully refundable and removes the $2,500 earnings floor to receive the credit for 2021, ensuring that the lowest income households will be able to benefit from the maximum credit amount for the year. This change importantly corrected flaws in the credit that prevented around 27 million children nationwide whose families have little or no income from receiving the full benefit – and in New York State alone, this credit expansion will benefit 1,546,000 of these children who were previously left out of the full Child Tax Credit.
The increased $3,000 or $3,600 CTC is available to low and middle-income families making less than $150,000, and it phases down above that income level, so households over $150,000 will see a reduced credit. This boosted credit amount is particularly impactful in lower-income households, as it has been found that increasing a low-income child’s family income early in their life has numerous, critical longer-term benefits on education, health, and even employment. Specifically, it is estimated that a $3,000 increase in annual family income for children under age five translates into an estimated 19 percent earnings increase in adulthood.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an estimated 3,564,000 children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit – including 583,000 Black, 954,000 Latino, and 266,000 Asian American children. It will also lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line. It is estimated that New York families will receive $7.03 billion in total relief from the enhanced CTC.
Greene County ranks 24th out of New York’s 62 counties in terms of poverty rate, and the Capital region has higher total poverty and child poverty rates than the nation as a whole; therefore, the Schumer-secured expansion of the CTC will significantly impact the region, delivering approximately $440 million to the Capital Region, including $17 million to Greene County, $21 million for Columbia County, $57 million for Rensselaer County. $110 million for Albany County, $56 million for Schenectady County and $83 million for Saratoga County. Nationwide, the tax credit expansion will benefit nearly 66 million children, and it will lift nearly 10 million children above or closer to the federal poverty line, while providing a significant boost for working families.
Schumer went on to detail the scope of the child poverty issue in the region. The overall number of children living in poverty in the Capital Region is about 20%. Greene County is about 18%, in Columbia County is about 16%, in Rensselaer County is about 18%, in Albany County is about 16%, in Schenectady County is about 17%, and in Saratoga County is about 7%, with the numbers greatly increasing in cities with a higher population density. These high rates of child poverty make the strengthened Child Tax Credit all the more critical to the region.