News Round Up: February 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting low-income communities and exacerbating economic inequality across the country. Throughout this crisis, TCWF will compile news, legislation, and research on how tax credits and other income-boosting policies can provide much-needed relief for the hardest-hit communities. 

Top Story: A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found that the expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) proposed in the House Ways and Means Committee’s COVID-19 relief bill would reduce child poverty by 40% and allow 17 million more low-income adults to access the EITC. (CBPP)

  • A new blog post by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) also examined the Ways and Means Committee’s proposal, which includes a $1,400 stimulus check and expansions to the EITC and CTC, showing that the proposals would increase income for the poorest 20% of Americans by an average of 20.3%. (ITEP)
  • A new report by CBPP emphasized the need for Congress to act quickly to enact the House’s economic relief package, which would expand the CTC and EITC, extend unemployment benefits, and continue food assistance programs, among other measures, to ensure a rapid and equitable COVID-19 economic recovery. (CBPP)
  • The directors of Massachusetts-based economic assistance nonprofits and policy centers joined together to highlight the power of tax credits like the EITC and CTC as tools for economic and racial justice and to urge policymakers to help promote free, high-quality, and community-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs. (Commonwealth)
  • A new CBPP policy brief evaluated the errors many states made in the aftermath of the Great Recession and analyzed the steps states can take during the post-pandemic recovery to pursue equitable and antiracist policy choices, such as strengthening state EITCs. (CBPP)
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced that his 2021-23 biennial budget incorporates a major initiative to support care for children and elderly or disabled adults, including creating a state-level nonrefundable Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and (CDCTC) and investing over $200 million to create a Caregiving Tax Credit to help families cover child care and caregiving expenses. (Milwaukee Independent).
  • The Iowa State House approved a legislative package that tackles child care access and affordability in the state. The package includes doubling the income cap for the state CDCTC to $90,000. (The Gazette)
  • We blogged about Maryland’s recent EITC expansion that will increase the value of the state’s refundable EITC to 45% of the federal credit and 100% of the federal credit for workers without dependent children. (TCWF)