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Parents worry as monthly child tax credit payments could come to an end

Monthly payments will not continue unless Congress extends the law.
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:56 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The disagreement over the Build Back Better bill is already having real world impacts.

Since July, families with kids could get a monthly advance on their child tax credit, which was also increased.

Those monthly payments are now finished.

Families who took the monthly payments will get the second half of the credit on their income taxes next year, as will anyone else who didn’t take the advance payments.

Advocates said the payments are critical to reducing child poverty. They don’t want to see the benefit reduced, or stopped altogether.

Child tax policy was not on the reading list at the Louisville Free Public Libraries story time with Mrs. Claus, but it is on some parent’s minds.

“I noticed the direct deposits and my wife gets the checks so we’ve seen both, it’s just been nice to get a little bit of extra cash,” parent Timothy Learn said.

Learn said his family gets between five and six hundred dollars for his two children. He said he likes getting the monthly payment rather than getting it with his income taxes.

“It’s been nice to have the money up front,” Learn said.

Those monthly payments may be done for good. Congress has not passed the Build Back Better bill, and without it, there are no more monthly payments in 2022 and the child tax credit will actually decrease.

“We have all the research and data that demonstrates that these are the kind of resources that lift and keep families out of poverty,” Metro United Way Policy Director Mandy Simpson said.

Simpson said she doesn’t want that to happen. She said these payments can be more useful to families instead of being restricted to food like food stamps, or tied into work like the Earned Income tax credit.

“When they have the flexibility to do that, they have a platform to stand on and to lift and to move their families forward,” Simpson said.

Extending the program permanently would cost $1.6 trillion over the next decade, or about $1.30 per American per day. Our federal representatives will have to decide if the county can afford that spending. Timothy Learn said he’s fine with it.

“I think when we look at the total sum that is spent by the US government, I think a dollar thirty a day to help support families with children makes sense,” Learn said.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said this spending bill will add to the national debt if Congress doesn’t find a new way to pay for it.

It said the expanded child tax credit is one of the most expensive parts of the bill.

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