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The American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit Expansion Provides Thousands of Dollars of Relief For Families Across Southern Tier for 2021 – More Than An Estimated $264 Million Directly Into The Pockets of ST Families, including Over $34M for Steuben County Families, Over $6M For Schuyler County Families, and Over $30M For Chemung County Families

Refundable Tax Credit That Will Soon Be Available In Monthly Installments Is On Top Of Additional Round of $1,400 Economic Impact Checks Meant To Help Working Families and Stabilize The Southern Tier Economy

Schumer To ST Families: Help Is On The Way! 

Following his successful steering to passage of the broader American Rescue Plan, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, standing with Steuben County families, advocates, and local leaders, detailed plans that will dramatically impact the lives of thousands of working families across the Southern Tier in a direct effort to combat the scourge of child poverty, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, through an expansion of the Child Tax Credit expansion – which experts say will cut child poverty in half – and the additional round of $1,400 direct payments to low and middle-income families that many Southern Tier residents have already begun receiving.

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 20% of Corning children who live in poverty. The senator was joined by Bill Boland, Mayor of Corning, Paula Detar, Executive Director of the Corning Children’s Center, Cindy Lewis-Black, Development Director of the Corning Children Center, families who will benefit from the expanded child tax credit, and local officials.

“Help is here for working families across the Southern Tier, who have already started receiving a big and vital boost from the $1400 stimulus checks that are hitting bank accounts or are in the mail,” said Senator Schumer. “Plus, the more robust and expansive Child Tax Credit will be an economic lifeline to countless Steuben, Schuyler, and Chemung County children and families. Experts say that this policy alone can cut child poverty in half this year, which is a huge step forward that benefits all New Yorkers.”

Schumer added, “Right now, thousands of families across the Southern Tier 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 Steuben County’s working families. This credit expansion – combined with the additional $1,400 direct checks – 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 Corning and New York weather and recover from the pandemic.”

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 Southern Tier 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.

Steuben County ranks 30th out of New York’s 62 counties in terms of poverty rate, Schuyler County ranks 36th, and Chemung County ranks 38th; therefore, the Schumer-secured expansion of the CTC will significantly impact the region, delivering approximately $264 million to the Southern Tier, including $34 million to Steuben County, $6 million for Schuyler County, and $30 million for Chemung 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 also highlighted the need for eligible families, particularly those who have not filed a tax return in either 2019 or 2020, to file their 2020 taxes as soon as possible. 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.

Schumer went on to detail the scope of the child poverty issue in the region. The overall number of children living in poverty in Steuben County is about 1.3 times higher than the state rate of 18%, in Schuyler County is about 1.1 times, and in Chemung County is about 1.05 times, 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.