January 17, 2023
Commonwealth Kids Credit Would Make Virginia More Affordable for Over 700,000 Families
Establishing a state-level Child Tax Credit would help over 1 million children
A commonwealth kids credit would make the cost of living more affordable for over 700,000 families and benefit more than 1 million children, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Institute (TCI). Temporary improvements to the federal Child Tax Credit dramatically reduced child poverty in 2021. With those improvements expired and rising costs limiting the ability of families to pay for the basics, Virginia lawmakers have an opportunity to build on the success of the improved federal credit and provide direct assistance to families by establishing a state-level Child Tax Credit.
“Throughout the pandemic, improvements in family economic security, such as food security and financial stability, coincided with direct support to families,” says Megan Davis, Policy Analyst at The Commonwealth Institute and primary author of the report. “In our collective effort to make Virginia a more affordable place to live, state lawmakers should focus on proven solutions, like a commonwealth kids credit, that would give people the freedom to buy what their families need most.”
Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Kathy Tran have each introduced legislation to establish a state Child Tax Credit in Virginia that would provide full access to a $500 tax credit for every child under 18 in households making up to $100,000 in adjusted gross income. For a family of 4 with two children, a credit of $500 per child would be equivalent to 16 months of gas bills, nearly 3,500 diapers, or over a month’s worth of groceries.
Research shows that a commonwealth kids credit would:
- Help more than 1 million children in over 700,000 Virginia families
- Reduce childhood hunger,
- Improve test scores for students, and
- Improve infant and maternal health.
“Corporate profits continue to rise while rising costs are testing family budgets,” says Rodrigo Soto, who leads the Institute’s tax fairness campaigns. “Rather than providing tax cuts to profitable companies, which would drain resources from all of us, state lawmakers should choose kids over corporations and enact policies that would directly help families make ends meet.”