On Wednesday, October 4th, Gov. Maura Healey signed the long-awaited $1 billion tax package at the State House. The tax package includes the Child and Dependent Tax Credit (CDTC), which CLM has strongly advocated for since Governor Healey’s inauguration. The adopted version of the Child and Dependent Tax Credit provides qualifying families with a $310 credit for 2023, which will increase to $440 on a permanent basis starting in 2024. However, the tax credit will not index to inflation. An estimated 565,000 families will benefit.
“The expansion of the Child and Dependent Tax Credit is an important investment in families that will directly contribute to child well-being.”-Rachel Gwaltney, CLM Executive Director
CLM has strongly advocated for the inclusion of the Child Tax Credit, such as in our Transition Memo to the Healey-Driscoll administration. We have expressed the need for “expand[ed] direct cash assistance with efforts such as creating a permanent state Child Tax Credit, increasing the floor for the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (line item #4403- 2000), and bringing to scale successful pilot programs for universal basic income.”
While we are thrilled that the CDTC was included in this package to support low-income families, the more generous CDTC proposal from the House would have increased the credit amount to $600 for each qualifying dependent over the course of three years and indexed the credit amount to inflation to secure the long-term value of the credit. A recent poll showed that 77% of Massachusetts residents (86% with children) were also in favor of the larger $600 proposal regardless of region, age, race, gender, income, or political party. (MassBudget).
We thank the legislature and the Governor for the CDTC’s inclusion in the tax package, and reaffirm that much more needs to be done to support Massachusetts’ lowest-income residents. Poverty and child welfare involvement are deeply connected issues and disproportionately impact families of color. Financial hardships increase family stress and instability, threatening child well-being and safety. To address these interconnected issues, cash assistance and benefits have been proven to drastically reduce child welfare involvement. To learn more about the impacts of poverty on families and children, check out our fact sheet.