Over 90,000 households signed up for the CT Child Tax Rebate in the first week

More than 90,000 Connecticut households applied for the state’s new child tax rebate in the program’s first week, Rep. Sean Scanlon, the Guilford Democrat who led the program at the United States, announced Wednesday. Legislative Assembly.

Applications from 90,320 households would benefit 144,313 children from low- and middle-income families, said Scanlon, who also announced a new coalition of nonprofit service providers that will help households navigate the application process, which remains open until July 31.

“I think it’s a great start,” said Scanlon, who traveled the state promoting the program. More importantly, he added, “it shows the incredible need for it.”

State officials estimate that about 350,000 Connecticut households are eligible to receive the $250 per child rebate, which the Department of Tax Services is expected to send out in August. The maximum payment is $750 per household.

Scanlon said it would be a “huge win” if two-thirds of those 350,000 households received the refund.

It is available to single parents who earned less than $100,000 in 2021 and two-parent families who earned less than $200,000.

Families must file with the state Department of Tax Services between June 1 and July 31 to receive payment. It can be claimed on behalf of children born on or before December 31, 2021.

Tax reform supporters had argued for a recurring credit of up to $600 per child — to a maximum of $1,800 per household — against state income tax to help counter the inflation and other pressures on poor and middle-income households.

The entire Legislature and Governor Ned Lamont agreed this spring to a one-time child tax refund of $250 per child, up to a maximum of $750 per household. But Lamont also said he would prioritize converting the rebate to a continuing appropriation during the 2023 regular session of the General Assembly, if state finances remain strong at that point.

Republicans said Lamont and his fellow Democrats in the legislative majority were using the discounts as a political stunt to boost their campaigns this fall. Lamont is seeking a second term as governor and Scanlon is running for state comptroller.

But Democrats counter that the rebates provide much-needed relief when families grapple with high gas prices and runaway inflation.

Scanlon and Lisa Tepper Bates, President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut, said they hope to maximize participation in the rebate program to scale up grassroots support to make the tax relief an ongoing benefit. .

Families who have already applied for the credit have said the funds help them cover rising grocery bills, catch up on rent, or pay for childcare.

“This [$750] can be very, very powerful,” said Bates, whose organization has been pushing for a permanent child tax credit. “Childcare in the most expensive part of the family budget.”

United Way has drawn attention in recent years to the high cost of living and extreme income inequality in Connecticut by proposing a new poverty assessment methodology.

The organization’s ALICE system – an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Households – assesses major expenses related to health and child care, transportation, utilities and other costs that do not are not major factors in other systems.

For example, the federal poverty level, a measure from the 1960s that focuses primarily on a household’s pre-tax income and the adjusted cost of a minimum diet, estimates that a family of four should earn more of $27,750 a year to avoid poverty.

The ALICE methodology indicates that a family of four in Connecticut needs more than $90,000 a year to cover a basic “survival” budget.

The Connecticut Chapter of United Way and its 2-1-1 information service are working with 11 other nonprofit social service agencies and political groups to answer questions and provide other free assistance to families who don’t have access at a computer or who need help applying for the tax refund. .

Other coalition groups include: Connecticut Association for Community Action; the Connecticut Association for Social Services; Connecticut Legal Services; Connecticut Voice for Children; the Connecticut Women’s Education and Justice Fund; Greater Hartford Legal Aid; HRA of New Britain; the New Haven Legal Aid Association; Simplified CT; Latin Unity in Accion; and The Village for families and children.

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