WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call after securing language in President Biden’s COVID Rescue Package that will expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). The expansion of these credits will help Ohioans who are hurting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cutting taxes for working families and putting more money in their pockets amid the current economic downturn.
“Even before this pandemic, hard work wasn’t paying off for millions of workers. Wages have been flat for decades, while the cost of everything is up, particularly the cost of raising kids,” said Brown. “The research is clear – these credits are two of the most effective tools we have to put money in the pockets of working people, pull children out of poverty, and help families keep up with the cost of living. And it would come at a time when families need all the support they can get.”
Brown was joined on today’s call by Ms. Angela Lowery, Director of Financial Empowerment for United Way of Summit & Medina. Ms. Lowery works directly with Ohio clients on tax preparation and shared stories of how EITC and CTC have helped Ohio families and spoke to the importance of expanding these credits.
“In my role, I am able to witness the tangible impact that the Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit have on individuals and families. Families are relying on their tax refunds this year more than ever. So many people are behind on bills or deferring needed expenses, and their tax refunds offer some relief. These provisions will help people in our community, which is why I appreciate Senator Brown’s work and advocacy in this area,” said Lowery.
Brown has led efforts in Congress to expand the EITC and CTC for years, introducing the Working Families Tax Relief Act in 2019. The language included in Biden’s rescue package is based, in part, on Brown’s legislation.
The provisions secured by Brown in the rescue package include provisions to:
· Significantly expand the EITC for workers without children and make the credit available for people starting at age 19 and without an upper age limit. Currently, workers without children can be pulled under the poverty line by taxes. Expanding the EITC would fix that.
· Allow taxpayers in 2022 to substitute their 2019 income to claim the EITC if their 2021 income was less than 2019 income. This ensures that Ohioans aren’t penalized for financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
· Make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable and increase the amount of the credit to $3,000 per child, and $3,600 for a child under age six. Provisions in the bill also increase the age of qualifying children by one year to 17-years-old.
According to a recent report by the Institute on Taxation and Economy policy, EITC provisions in the package would provide nearly $13 billion in additional EITC benefits to childless workers and CTC provisions would provide nearly $116 billion to families with children for the year. Taken together with the proposed stimulus checks included in the legislation, these provisions would help Ohioans make ends meet amid the current pandemic.