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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, M 12 ARCH 12-18, 2021
BY BRONX TIMES
Much of the talk about the $1.9 trillion
American Rescue Plan passed by
the Senate last weekend, and due to
pass the House this week, has been
on direct payments, bolstering unemployment
benefi ts and rescuing cashstrapped
local governments like New
York, and underserved communities
in our borough.
But the real angel in the details,
as it were, rests with the plan to boost
the Child Tax Credit — and to do so in
such a way that it has a real, positive
impact on American families.
The relief package increases the
value of the credit from $2,000 to
$3,000 per child under 17, or $3,600 per
child under the age of six. Moreover, it
transforms part of that credit into direct
monthly payment to parents over
the last six months of 2021; between
July and December, parents would get
$250 to $300 per child each month.
First created in 1997 as part of a
federal tax reform bill, the Child Tax
Credit has essentially acted as a coupon
on a fi ler’s annual return. The
money didn’t go directly into a parent’s
pocket unless they happened to
get a tax refund due, in part, to the
The changes to the Child Tax
Credit in the American Rescue Plan,
however, fi nally make the program
truly constructive by giving qualifi ed
working- and middle-class families
(making under $200,000 a year) across
America some actual help in raising
You would be hard-pressed to fi nd
a parent in the Bronx, let alone America,
who would pocket that $250 per
month, or splurge it on themselves.
That money will go toward whatever
the parents need to help raise
their children and provide them with
the very basics — food, clothing, supplies,
day care, educational programs,
It also creates a real precedent, one
that has been a long time in coming.
Changing the Child Tax Credit
into a direct payment program would
help ease the fi nancial burdens American
families face every day when it
comes to providing for their families.
It’s not socialism run amok, or a way
to disincentivize work. It’s simply
about giving parents a much-needed
break to help their children grow and
For all the things this country
has spent trillions of dollars upon in
the last few decades, the new-and-improved
Child Tax Credit might be the
smartest investment the federal government
has ever made.
As rescue for