As the Raising NY coalition continues to band together and advocate for an expanded federal Child Tax Credit, advocates from across the state recently hosted rallies in New York City and Rochester to call on congressional lawmakers to put children before corporations.
Currently, Congress is crafting a government spending bill before funding expires on December 16. The rallies intended to draw awareness to the opportunity congressional leaders have to put families first by opposing any new tax breaks for corporations in this spending bill unless it includes relief for families.
Direct service organizations, anti-poverty and immigration advocates, families, faith leaders, and lawmakers joined the rally, including U.S. Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) and Ritchie Torres (D-NY-15). Advocates spoke of the need for the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to reduce child poverty in New York State, as well as the credit being an immediate, meaningful, and direct tool to help families with rising costs in the U.S. — including food, transportation, child care, clothing, and more.
The Child Tax Credit is especially important for infants and toddlers to help families access essential resources for their health and development growth, as 80% of a child’s brain growth happens in the first three years of life. Additionally, tax credits can support the 18% of children experiencing poverty at higher rates in New York — with that percentage a full 10 points higher for Black children, and 7 points higher for Latinx children.
The expansion of the 2021 federal Child Tax Credit could reinstate the credit’s expansion that families saw under the American Rescue Plan — which increased the amount for children under six from $2,000 to $3,600 and for children aged 6-17 from $2,000 to $3,000 — and reached more than 3.5 million New York children and helped lift their families out of poverty.
Moreover, expanding the EITC, which has not been adjusted for nearly 30 years, would impact workers paid low wages who do not have children living with them, which would indirectly benefit children by including non-custodial parents and other family members.
Prior to this rally, members of the Raising NY coalition joined over 100 organizations from New York State in penning a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (D-NY), which urged the senator to expand the CTC and EITC before allowing any tax breaks to businesses and corporations.
It is our hope that Congress will put children first, before corporations, and expand these tax credits. While the spending deadline is near, we will continue to advocate for families federally and at home in New York by supporting a new bill that would improve the New York State’s child tax credit.