New child tax credits set to roll out

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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(CNN) - New child tax credits set to roll out next month could help get more Americans back to work.

Millions of eligible parents will get up to $300 a month for an entire year.

That money will be a huge help for folks who say they simply can’t afford to go back to work right now like 28-year-old Cassandra Singh.

She is one of the many Youngstown, Ohio, residents who recently lined up to receive free bags of diapers.

She said the pandemic forced her to choose between parenting or a paycheck.

“I have three children, 20-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, and a 4-year-old who will be five in August,” Singh said.

Before the pandemic, about 57% of kids 18 and under in Youngstown lived below the poverty line, compared to less than 15% nationwide.

“It’s been really tough on everyone. Not being able to go to work ‘cause we don’t have a babysitter and all the daycares closed down,” Singh said.

President Joe Biden has promised an enhanced child tax credit, even for those who pay no taxes, starting in July.

Parents who qualify will receive $3,600 per child under 6 and $3,000 per child under 18 this year.

That comes out to several hundred dollars in monthly deposits for parents like Jasmine Hollinshead and her three children.

“My checks only be like $200, so that would be a big, big difference,” she said.

Hollinshead said she recently started working 20 hours a week at a deli after staying home during the pandemic to care for her children.

“So it was hard to pay rent, hard to put food on the table. So, it was kind of hard. Well it was, I ain’t gonna say kind of. It was hard,” she said.

The money will more than double her monthly income but won’t last long.

“I have a car note, that’s $250, then my rent, then my electricity, clothes for them, shoes because they’re growing every day,” she said.

The White House said the enhanced credit will help more than 39 million American families, at a cost of an estimated $110 billion.

Critics say it discourages work.

In a joint statement earlier this year, Republican senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee called the credit “welfare assistance,” adding “Congress should expand the child tax credit without undercutting the responsibility of parents to work to provide for their families.”

Shelia Triplett is the CEO of the non-profit that runs the diaper bank, the Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership or MYCAP, for short.

“I understand people’s reticence in just giving money, but I don’t know you how you start if you don’t meet the immediate needs,” Triplett said.

“It takes more than just giving money. You know, it’s jobs, it’s affordable housing, you know, it’s education, it’s looking at, you know, some of the underlying causes of poverty,” she said.

Child tax credit payments will be based on 2020 tax returns.

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