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The American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit Expansion Provides Thousands of Dollars of Relief For Families Across Central New York for 2021 – An Estimated $237 Million Directly Into The Pockets of CNY Families, including $42M for Oswego County Families & $167M for Onondaga County Families

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

Schumer To CNY Families: Help Is On The Way!  

Following his successful steering to passage of the broader American Rescue Plan and standing at Oswego County Opportunities in Oswego County, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer detailed plans that will dramatically impact the lives of thousands of working families across Central New York 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 – which, experts say, will cut child poverty in half – and an additional round of $1,400 direct payments to low and middle-income families, that will flow to upwards of 85% of Central New Yorkers.

“Help is here for upwards of 85% of working families across Central New York, who will receive a big and vital boost from the $1400 stimulus checks that have already started 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 Oswego children and families. Experts say that this policy alone can cut child poverty in half, which is a huge step forward that benefits all New Yorkers.”

Schumer added, “Right now, hundreds of families across Central New York 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 Oswego 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 Oswego 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 Central New York 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.

The poverty rate in Oswego County had slightly decreased in the years leading up to the pandemic, 17.9% in 2019 which was down from 18.3% in 2018. However, despite the decrease, Oswego County still remains one of the poorest counties in New York, ranking 55th out of 62. Additionally, roughly 30% of children living in Oswego are living below the poverty line.. Therefore, the Schumer-secured expansion of the CTC will significantly impact Oswego County and the rest of the region, delivering approximately $237 million to the Syracuse metropolitan area (Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga counties), including $42 million to Oswego County  and $167M for Onondaga County. Estimates of similar legislation to expand the Child Tax Credit indicate that approximately 98,000 households in the NY-24 Congressional District and 99,000 in the NY-22 Congressional District will benefit from the strengthened credit. 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 Central New York. The overall number of children living in poverty in Oswego County and surrounding counties is close to 1.5 times the state poverty level of 18%, 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.

Schumer also highlighted several other ways the American Rescue Plan will help Oswego County:

  • Approximately $754 million in $1,400 direct payments for more than an estimated 302,000 households in the Syracuse metropolitan area (Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga counties). An estimated 54,000 households in Oswego County will receive approximately $135 million, an estimated 213,000 households in Onondaga County will receive approximately $531.5 million, and an estimated 35,000 households in Cayuga County will receive approximately $87.5 million.
  • More than $35 million for Oswego County governments, including over $22 million for Oswego County, $1.89M for the City of Oswego, $1.22 million for the City of Fulton and $9.74 million for town and villages
  • More than $34 million for Centro’s Onondaga, Oswego and Cayuga County operations
  • More than $4 million for Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc. FQHC

Oswego County will also receive a sizable portion of the following funds:

  • Medicaid FMAP Increase: $2.7 Billion($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to approximately 600 million from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation)
  • Emergency Rental Assistance and assistance for preventing homelessness: $1 Billion for New York
  • Child Care and Head Start: $1.8 Billion for New York
  • New Covid-19 Vaccine Procurement and Testing: $4 Billion for New York
  • Broadband Connectivity: $632 Million for New York
  • Enhanced Unemployment Benefits for NYers: $21.7 Billion for New York
  • Nutrition assistance: $1.07 Billion for New York 
  • Small Business, Restaurant, and Live Venue Relief: $57.8 Billion nationwide
  • Agriculture & Farmer support: $4 Billion nationwide