[News coverage from Edwin J. Viera, 3/25/24]

New data show the impacts of Connecticut's proposed child tax credit. Broken down by town, and state House and Senate districts, 268,000 eligible families would receive $306 million in tax credits.

Places like Bridgeport, Hartford, and Waterbury have the largest populations of eligible families. Municipalities across the state could see a 38% return on investment for local economies.

Amy Casavina Hall - senior vice president of partnerships, development and communication with United Way of Connecticut - said the credit's real-world impacts speak volumes.

"We'll see it with less hungry kids," said Casavina Hall. "We'll see it with more stable housing, better long-term outcomes. All the things that everyone wants for themselves, for their neighbors and for the good of the whole state's well-being."

Connecticut's proposed child tax credit would allocate $600 per child annually for up to three children per eligible filing family.

She notes a child tax credit will also help Connecticut's minority families. Ninety-one percent of Latino households and 88% of Black households with children would be eligible for this credit - collectively delivering $120 million in credits to these groups.

This credit could also reduce statewide food insecurity. When the 2021 federal child tax credit expansion was enacted, Connecticut saw a stark reduction - which quickly increased once the credit ended in 2022.

Mark Abraham, executive director of DataHaven, said the first federal credit stemmed from extraordinary circumstances but has profound implications.

"Families were able to send their children to summer camps and afford more enrichment programs," said Abraham, "and did not have to worry day to day about food and housing costs so we actually saw the child poverty rate cut by a factor of two or three."

Enacting the state and federal credit could reduce child poverty rates. A year after the federal credit ended, Connecticut's child poverty rate more than doubled, with around 82,000 kids in poverty. Nationally, the federal credit helped lift almost 3 million kids out of poverty. But, some child advocates note a multi-pronged approach that includes the child tax credit could be the silver bullet to helping end child poverty in Connecticut and across the U.S.