The expanded child tax credit, which was in place for the second half of 2021, disappeared at the end of the year when Congress failed to extend it, and the prospects of the federal version returning in any way seem unencouraging. In the meantime, several states are considering adopting their own versions of the credit. Illinois is considering such a credit, as is Minnesota.
As state legislatures across the country meet this time of year to review their annual budget process, Connecticut is the latest state to consider the possibility of adopting a new child tax credit.
According to Hartford Current, lawmakers in Connecticut’s capital are wrestling with what to do with the state’s projected $1.5 billion budget surplus. A legislative committee voted this week to both increase the earned income tax credit in the state and to establish a child tax credit in Connecticut, which would pay families in the state up to $600 per year for up to three children. The credit would be available to “single parents earning up to $100,000 a year and married couples earning up to $200,000.”
Republicans and some Democrats opposed the measure, the newspaper said, but had enough support to vote the proposal out of committee by a healthy margin.
However, the state’s Democratic Governor, Ned Lamont, has been coy about whether he will lend his support to the proposals.
“Well, you can’t do it all,” Lamont told reporters this week, according to the newspaper. “The legislature, in its wisdom, has a spending cap, and there’s also a cap in terms of the tax cuts you can make. This is under federal law. If people want to make a child tax credit, we have to be very clear. Maybe you don’t want to do a property tax cut or you don’t want to do the car tax or earned income tax credit. Our proposals are on the table.”
Lamont offered tax cuts for the middle class, making it a campaign promise when he ran in 2018. He is also offering $300 million for union contracts, the newspaper said.
Connecticut Mirror also looked at the debate in Hartford. The committee chair told the publication that the proposal would be revised, “to comply with federal restrictions on the tax relief Connecticut can provide while it accepts emergency federal pandemic assistance.”
Therefore, he said, the new credits would likely be phased in two years from now, once the pandemic relief expires. “If not now when? If not that, how?” Rep. Sean Scanlon, the committee’s chairman, told the running. “It’s unaffordable for parents to pay for childcare.”
Stephen Silver, technology editor for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and connect today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.