The increased federal child tax credit helped keep millions of children out of poverty, but the program ended in December 2021. Although efforts were made at the federal and state levels to revive the program, so far, there haven’t been any concrete developments. Now, lawmakers in Illinois are pushing for a permanent Illinois child tax credit. If approved, the Illinois child tax credit would offer up to $700 to low- and middle-income families each year.
Who Would Get The Illinois Child Tax Credit And How Much?
Earlier this week, a group of Democratic lawmakers introduced a proposal that calls for establishing a state-level Illinois child tax credit program. Under the proposal, low- and middle-income families in Illinois would get up to a $700 income tax credit each year for each child under age 17. Illinois Senate Bill 1444 contains the language for this proposal.
Single filers with income less than $50,000 and joint filers with income less than $75,000 would be eligible for the full credit. For taxpayers with income above the threshold, the credit amount would be reduced by $24 for each $1,000 of additional income.
State Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago), one of the proposal's sponsors, expects this new Illinois child tax credit to benefit about half of the children in the state.
"Working parents are struggling worse than ever before," Sen. Simmons said. "It is time for the state to create a permanent Child Tax Credit that puts money back into the pockets of parents in Illinois, so that parents can take care of their children and communities can begin to recover."
Will This Proposal Win Approval?
Sen. Robert Peters, also a Chicago Democrat, is one of the supporters of the proposal. However, it's unclear if the Illinois child tax credit proposal has the support of top Democratic leaders in the state's General Assembly. It's also unclear if Gov. J.B. Pritzker would include the state-level child tax credit in his budget proposal.
Although the proposal seems like good news for low- and middle-income families, it could face resistance because of its estimated annual price tag. The program is estimated to cost the state about $700 billion to $800 billion, according to the group Economic Security for Illinois.
Illinois lawmakers have enjoyed multi-billion-dollar surpluses for the last two years, but the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget projects a state deficit as soon as fiscal year 2025.
Moreover, a few lawmakers are questioning the need for a new child tax credit program. Illinois already offers an earned income tax credit (EITC) to residents who meet certain income guidelines, even if they have no children. Thus, an Illinois child tax credit would be an extra payment to families with children.
No hearings have been scheduled for the proposed credit yet. If this proposal wins approval, it could go into effect for the 2024 tax season.