Expanded New Jersey Child Tax Credit Of $1,000 Possible Now

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Parents in New Jersey may soon get more in the form of a child tax credit from the state. Lawmakers have approved a bill that expands the New Jersey child tax credit. The new bill doubles the maximum refundable per-child credit level to $1,000.

Expanded New Jersey Child Tax Credit: Who Will Get It?

On Tuesday, lawmakers in both chambers’ budget committees approved an expansion of the New Jersey child tax credit. As noted above, the bill expands the maximum credit to $1,000. The child tax credit is available for children five or younger.

New Jersey enacted the child tax credit last year, and now lawmakers want to extend it. Presently, the maximum child tax credit available is between $100 and $500, based on income.

“We saw a huge success with it last year, and we recognized that there were things that we did last year that worked phenomenally well. We wanted to be sure that we extended it this year,” said Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), who is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Although the maximum available credit is $1,000, the exact credit amount will depend on the filers’ annual income. Those with an annual income of $30,000 or less would qualify for the maximum credit, while those between $60,000 and $80,000 would get a credit of $200.

It must be noted that the new bill doesn’t change threshold income limits. The bill is set for final approval before both full houses Friday.

The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services estimates that taxpayers would claim the credit for between 311,000 to 372,000 children, of which about 180,000 would qualify for the maximum credit.

Raising concern over expanding the New Jersey child tax credit, Sen. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) argued that the bill would extend credit to undocumented children, and in turn, encourage migrants to make dangerous border crossings.

Lawmakers Raise “Anchor” Property Tax Relief Benefits

Apart from expanding the New Jersey child tax credit, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee unanimously approved raising the “Anchor” property tax relief benefits by $250 for senior homeowners and renters.

The agreement to increase the “Anchor” property tax relief also laid the groundwork for a new property tax relief program, called “StayNJ.” If approved, this new program would reduce the property levies to half for many seniors.

If approved, the StayNJ program would start in 2026, but only if the state has the resources to support the program without risking other programs.

Lately, several states have enacted legislation to give (or expand) child tax credits to needy families. New York, for instance, has recently expanded the child credit to cover children up to age 17.

Colorado also recently increased its child tax credit to $1,200 per child. The expanded child tax credit from Colorado will go into effect for the 2024 tax year. This means eligible families will get a bigger credit in 2025 after they file their 2024 state tax returns.