Gov. Ned Lamont held a rally promoting the 2022 Child Tax Credit last year in Waterbury, CTMirror

Gov. Ned Lamont set an important goal for our state: making Connecticut the most family- friendly state in America. We agree that it’s time to take action to invest in our families. Creating a permanent, fully refundable Connecticut Child Tax Credit (CTC) of $600 per child is an important, high-impact step to support our families.

Creating a permanent child tax credit is as much about boosting our economy as it is about supporting families. Our state economy has suffered with more than 100,000 job openings persistently unfillable for months. That’s in no small part because our working-age population is shrinking: the most recent census report showed that between 2000 and 2022, our working-age population (people between 20 and 49) fell by 5.6 percent. A permanent CTC would help keep working-aged people (usually those with young children) here in CT and help draw new young families to our state to bolster our workforce.

Connecticut is a wonderful state for families, with our high-quality public schools and libraries, good employers, and so much to explore – including local parks, mountains, woods, lakes, rivers, and the Sound. However, raising a child in Connecticut is more expensive than almost anywhere else in the country. We consistently rank among the top ten most expensive states for housing, and among the five most expensive states for childcare. This economic stress falls disproportionately on women and families of color: 57% of Connecticut’s Black households, 63% of Hispanic, and 73% of single-female headed households with children struggle at or below the United Ways’ of Connecticut ALICE (Asset -Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) threshold of the income needed to live in Connecticut, based on real local cost data.

Connecticut families’ budgets are further stretched given recent and substantial reductions in federal benefits. From July to December 2021, the now-expired enhanced federal Child Tax Credit provided most low- and middle-income households payments of up to $3,600 per child. The 2021 enhanced federal Child and Dependent Care Credit, which provided a fully refundable tax credit of up to $4,000 per child, was not renewed. That’s thousands of dollars in additional income per child that our families will not have in 2023 to help make ends meet.

It’s time to create a permanent Child Tax Credit in Connecticut to support our families and children and to make a sound investment to grow our workforce. It will pay dividends for years to come.

Lisa Tepper Bates, President & CEO, United Way of Connecticut, on behalf of The Nonprofit Child Tax Credit Coalition which includes: United Way of Connecticut, Connecticut’s 15 local United Ways, Connecticut Voices For Children, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc., SimplifyCT, Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Connecticut Legal Services, Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF), Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), Building One Community, Unidad Latina en Accion, Connecticut Association for Human Services, The Village and Hispanic Health Council.