The cost of nearly everything – from fuel to food – is the highest it’s been in 40 years. Families need relief now and reviving the Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments is the most immediate, meaningful and direct tool to help Illinois’s families with the rising costs of living. When it was enacted, the expanded monthly refundable CTC slashed child poverty, infused local economies with tens of billions of dollars, and decreased food insufficiency by nearly one-third. If enacted, the CTC can provide immediate relief to 36 million families within weeks – all the more reason why we need to revive the Child Tax Credit.
If the Child Tax Credit is expanded and made fully refundable, 150,000 of Illinois’ children would be lifted from poverty, and over 2,536,000 children (87% of kids in the state) would benefit from the program.
- Additionally, according to the Urban Institute, if the CTC was made permanent nearly 42.4% of the state’s children would be lifted from poverty.
The expanded Child Tax Credit can cover the whole cost of inflation for middle- to low-income families, many of whom were eligible for the CTC and are hit hardest by rising prices.
- A Moody’s Analytics study found that inflation is costing the average family $445 per month, equal to the full monthly Child Tax Credit payment.
- When it was in place, the Child Tax Credit from July to December 2021 paid Illinois families an average of $438 per month. Nationally, 90% of families with children received up to $300 per month per child, averaging $444 per month per household.
Economists agree, the Child Tax Credit will not affect inflation and it doesn’t dissuade people from work.
- Despite the Child Tax Credit’s success in cutting poverty, there is still this unfounded criticism that the CTC will contribute to inflation, but 130+ economists signed on to a letter saying that the CTC is “too small” to affect inflation. Now that we know the CTC can cover the whole cost of inflation for Illinois families – it is clear why we must revive the monthly payments.
- There were similarly unfound criticisms that the CTC would dissuade people from working. But this is false, according to a study by Columbia University and underscored by a letter signed by 448 economists. Other research from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) and Urban Institute and Humanity Forward refutes this notion entirely as it encourages work especially for single mothers.
Since the Child Tax Credit’s expiration, nearly 3.7 MILLION children have fallen back into poverty, likely including 150,000 of Illinois’ children who were uplifted from the monthly payments.
- A report from Columbia University found that in the months since the CTC expired 3.7 million fell back into poverty, nearly the same amount of kids who were lifted from poverty when the payments began.
- This 3.7 million likely includes 150,000 children from the state. An additional 10 million children across the nation are now at risk of falling into or deeper into poverty, too.
- And if congress fails to reinstate the Child Tax Credit, Illinois could lose a staggering $8.1 billion in benefits over the next year according to The Niskanen Center.
The Child Tax Credit is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in American history. Unless Congress acts, Illinois’ children are at risk of falling back into poverty as working families struggle now more than ever with rising inflation.