New polling data released late last week shows 77% of surveyed Massachusetts residents support a $600 state Child and Family Tax Credit. This polling confirms the popularity of the more generous Child and Family Tax Credit included in the House tax package, which is under consideration alongside the Senate tax bill by a bicameral conference committee.
“The overwhelming support for a $600 tax credit per child matches up with the stories I have heard from families across my district, and the experiences of working Massachusetts families that they need more financial support to make ends meet” stated Senator Jamie B. Eldridge (D-Marlborough), lead Senate sponsor of legislation to both increase the Child and Family Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Tax packages introduced by the House, Senate, and Administration would streamline existing law by replacing two much smaller credits with a larger refundable Child and Family Tax Credit for all families caring for children under age 13, adults over age 65, or adults with disabilities. While the final credit amount hinges on negotiations between the House and Senate, the potential tax refund would, at a minimum, start at $310 per dependent, with the option to increase to $600 over two years, and then increase with inflation after that. The more generous House version of the credit, supported by advocates and families, aligns with the $600 credit proposed by the Healey-Driscoll Administration and included in her campaign platform. Polling data shows that support for the $600 credit is high across racial, age, and gender groups, and rises to 86% among respondents with children.
“We know that Massachusetts residents of all backgrounds and political affiliations want to see their government prioritize and care for children, older adults, and people with disabilities,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), lead Senate sponsor of legislation to create an expanded Child and Family Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. “These programs make financial support more accessible and are proven ways to combat poverty in our communities for countless residents.”
Parents described how a credit that reaches $600 per dependent would help them afford both basic needs and enrichments for their child. “This tax credit can help me provide my kids with a warm meal after school” said a Massachusetts father of six. He continued, “I can take them to the mall and have them pick out a piece of clothing they want… it will allow my kids to play sports in school because I will finally be able to afford the gear they need to stay safe.” A mother of two described how the Child and Family Tax Credit would help with the cost of sending her son to camp in summer months. A father of three who recently lost his construction job described how the credit would help support his family while he finds work.
Local advocates and legislative leaders have been at the helm of the campaign for expanding Massachusetts family tax credits. Last month, the Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition sent a letter to the Legislature from 107 community-serving organizations and institutions across the state calling for the advancement of the House-proposed Child and Family Tax Credit and boosted Earned Income Tax Credit. “It comes as no surprise to see polling prove overwhelming support for a $600 Child and Family Tax Credit” said Charlotte Bruce, Senior Research and Policy Analyst for Children’s HealthWatch and leader of the Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition. Bruce continued, “our months spent advocating alongside communities on the ground have shown us this policy is not just popular, but necessary because it puts money directly into caregivers’ pockets and gives them the tools to meet their families’ basic needs to help their kids thrive.”
Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge) has long championed expansions of family tax credits alongside other critical anti-poverty measures. “I am proud to be part of leading the way to help our families climb out of poverty,” said Representative Decker. “We know that the Child and Family Tax Credit is proven to help stabilize families, giving them more bandwidth to meet their family’s basic needs.”
The polling, conducted by Mass Inc. and developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center and Economic Security Project, surveyed more than 1,000 Massachusetts English and Spanish speaking residents in mid-August.
The Healthy Families Tax Credits Coalition is a statewide nonpartisan network of advocates working to improve the health and well-being of Massachusetts children and families by expanding the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and passing a robust and inclusive Child and Family Tax Credit (CFTC). The growing coalition is led by Children’s HealthWatch at Boston Medical Center and consists of community-based agencies, legal advocates, researchers, professional associations, social service providers, tax preparers, health providers, and Massachusetts workers and their families.
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