News Round Up: March 28, 2022

Top Story: Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer recently revealed “More for MI Money,” a new plan that aims to lower taxes for working families and seniors, in part by tripling the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which would benefit more than 700,000 families. (WZZM 13)

  • A new report from Rutgers Center for Women and Work and the New Jersey State Policy Lab revealed how the Child Tax Credit (CTC) gave New Jersey families the support to afford essentials. The report analyzed data from the Census Bureau surveys which reported that a third of recipients (34%) used the funds for food, 17% used it on clothing, and 25% of parents with children younger than 5 used it to pay for childcare. (New Jersey 101.5)
  • Similarly, a new report from the Center for the Study of Social Policy revealed how the expanded CTC helped Michigan families with food, rent, childcare, utilities, and clothing during times of economic uncertainty through the pandemic. Roughly 90% of households with children reported that the tax credit made them feel “a little” or “a lot” less stressed about money. (Detroit Free Press)
  • Illinois lawmakers and community activists rallied in downtown Chicago in support of an expanded EITC and creation of a statewide CTC. (My Stateline)
  • Senator Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) Family Security Act has not yet been formally proposed but is still under discussion by both sides of Congress. The bill is similar to the CTC, offering $350 per month to families with children up to 5 years old, and $250 for children 6-17 years old. The biggest difference, however, would be a likely added work requirement. (The Sun)
  • Families with an immigration status were denied the California EITC until 2020, when Governor Gavin Newsom expanded the credit to include all income-eligible workers. However, many workers are still not aware of their eligibility. A July 2021 report from UC Berkeley’s California Policy Lab found that roughly $76 million in tax credits go unclaimed each year, half of which belongs to Latino tax filers. (The Fresno Bee)
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (FRBD) analyzed the cause of low EITC take-up rates within eligible communities and found that among all eligible individuals, Latino workers had the lowest take-up rate in comparison to non-Latino white workers. The language barrier and resulting lack of awareness seemed to be the leading causes for the deficit. Per the 2018 American Community Survey, roughly 30% of Texas’s Hispanic residents have difficulty communicating effectively in English, which poses a barrier to understanding the EITC’s complexity. (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)
  • A new working paper from Barnard College, Columbia University, and the Open Sky Policy Institute investigates the cost and value of Congress permanently sending monthly funds to parents. Researchers estimate that a permanent expansion of the CTC to a “near-universal” child allowance would annually cost around $97 billion. However, costs would be offset by an annual $982 billion in “social benefits,” including improved health and longevity for children. (Business Insider)