Lawmakers Propose $300 New Child Tax Credit from Illinois

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Many Illinois families could qualify for a new child tax credit next year that could give them $300 per child. Some state lawmakers recently proposed a new child tax credit from Illinois for families earning less than the median income. If approved, Illinois would join 14 other states offering a similar credit.

New child tax credit from Illinois: who could get it?

On Wednesday, state Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. (D-Chicago) and Rep. Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights) introduced a new proposal (House Bill 4917) to give eligible families a $300 annual child tax credit.

Under the proposal, single parents with annual income below $50,000 (less than $75,000 for joint filers) would qualify for the credit. Also, the proposal calls for giving inflation-adjusted credit amounts in subsequent years.

According to a study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle-Class Renewal at the University of Illinois, a $300 tax credit would benefit more than 1 million children and reduce child poverty in the state by more than 3%.

This is not the first time state lawmakers have proposed creating a statewide child tax credit program. Several child tax credit proposals have been filed in the General Assembly this session, including another proposal from Evans offering a tax credit of up to $700 per qualified dependent.

Will it win enough support?

Those in favor of the proposal believe the new child tax credit will help not just working families, but the state economy as well. The credit is estimated to generate more than $1 billion in local economic stimulus.

“It’s not just about the dollars, but it’s in the stimulus in our local economy that is going to be the real catalyst for this,” Rep. Evans said during a press conference.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 60% of the funds allocated to the new tax credit would go to Black and brown families. Over 40 nonprofit, labor, and community-based organizations support the child tax credit proposal.

Those against the bill argue it could put further pressure on the state budget. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget expects the expenditures to surpass revenues in fiscal year 2025. The state could face a $891 million deficit. The $300 credit is estimated to cost the state about $470 million annually.

The reduced amount of the $300 child tax credit proposal was set after discussions with the governor’s office, said Erion Malasi, policy and advocacy director for Economic Security for Illinois.

Alex Gough, a spokesperson for the governor’s office, said the governor will review the proposal if it makes it to his desk. Gov. JB Pritzker is presently outlining his spending priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and will address the legislature at the state Capitol on Feb. 21.