Community Services Society: The Case for Expanding the Child Tax Credit


March 2, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and the recession that followed have pushed millions into poverty—including children—at a moment when child poverty was already pervasive and widespread, with over 12 million children living in poverty in the United States.[1] The pre-pandemic poverty rate among children in New York State was  18.1 percent, 1.3 percentage points higher than the national rate (16.8 percent). In New York City, more than 20 percent of children live in poverty, with significant variation across neighborhoods and among different racial and ethnic groups. Using the official federal poverty measure, Figure 1 shows the 2019 rates of child poverty by race in the United States, New York State, and New York City.

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus relief proposal, includes a measure to support families with children by expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to make it fully refundable and increasing the amount of the credit to $3,000 for children ages six to 17 years old and $3,600 for children under six years old.

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