Local families hope for financial boost from potential child tax credit expansion

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Many local families are optimistic about proposed changes to the child tax credit, part of the latest $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

The plan would boost the child tax credit to $3,600 for each child under the age of 6 and $3,000 for children between ages 6 and 17 years old. The proposal would consists of monthly payments around $300 per child a month instead of larger lump sum during tax season.

“I love the fact that we are starting to think more strategically about how we can support families, whole families, the children, the parents and moving towards sustainability,” President and CEO of Operation Breakthrough Mary Esselman said.

Esselman said this is a practical impact to have monthly payments. She sees firsthand the need in Kansas City through Operation Breakthrough, which serves and cares for hundreds of low income children and families.

According to latest census data for Kansas City, 16.5% of the population live below the poverty line. It’s a number that’s higher than the national average of 13.1%.

A report from Congressional Budget Office shows this simple change to the child tax credit could potentially cut child poverty in half.

“It could help us in the long run. It would be a stretch on throughout the year instead of getting it and spending it,” Kansas City mother of three Bobbie Crum said. “I definitely look forward to it. I’m one of those who hurt a little bit more throughout the year, especially last year with pandemic and everything that’s going on. Definitely unexpected stuff.”

The current child tax credit is $2,000.

Married parents earning less than $150,000 and single parents earning less than $75,000 would qualify for new proposal.

The proposal, which has bipartisan support, would use the Internal Revenue Service to provide monthly payments.

The Biden administration hopes the stimulus package is passed by mid-March, but it’s still making its way through Congress at this point.

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