In the News

Working to Get Tax Credits for Children Who Need It Most

On the first day of the Child Tax Credit payments hitting bank accounts Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher held a round table at her office that included representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, Lone Star Aid, and BakerRipley, which have been working to ensure vulnerable families are able to receive this relief. They also had members of families present that could most use the monthly credit.

According to the congresswoman’s office 82.5% of children in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District are estimated to benefit from these monthly payments, $250 per month per child aged 6-17, and $300 per month for every child aged 0-5. Across the district, families with children in poverty are estimated to receive $5,200 on average.

Kachandra Robinson already knew how she was going to spend the money, “I’m already looking at charter schools to put her in so she will be caught up for next year… She’s only three… but she already knows too much. She needs to be in school,” Robinson laughs.

Fletcher says, “It’s really important to me, and to my entire team, that as we see this program roll out, that we get the word out and we understand the difference it can make… I know this is something we are particularly proud of in Congress.” If one has filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return, a payment has already arrived or is forthcoming.

Kiara, a high school student who came with her father, says that she and her two younger siblings will benefit from the payments. She also says she want to get a degree in Business and Finance because it doesn’t just help out themselves by also the people around them.

Robinson pointed out that many people in need of the monthly payments may need to make sure their information is up to date. Having a check or payment sent to an old address or an inactive bank account doesn’t help anyone.

Many non-profit charitable organizations like BakerRipley have had community events to help people get “onto the books” that haven’t filed taxes previously.

The Center For Budget and Policy Priorities says that a growing body of research shows child tax credits have long lasting effects in many different parts of life from improved infant health, to better school performance, greater college enrollment, and increased work and earning in the next generation.

Talk about a great return on investment, and it’s one that doesn’t just help the individual, but is great for a society as a whole.

“The numbers that I’ve seen says it’s 6 million people in Texas that are eligible for the credit,” says Fletcher. She adds, “The estimates are it will lift half the children in the United States [that are in poverty] out of poverty.” She thinks that it will pull over 3,000 children out of poverty in this district alone.

Read in Village News/Southwest News