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What a Permanent Child Tax Credit Could Mean for Families in Illinois

Advocates and lawmakers are calling for a permanent child tax credit to help lessen the economic burden on struggling families.

The expansion of the child tax credit during the pandemic — which included cash payments to families for six months — lifted more than 2 million children out of poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Child poverty went from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021, the lowest rate on record.

State Rep. Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights) is a chief co-sponsor of a bill in the state House that would enact a permanent child tax credit.

“It’s a really big issue that we have here in Illinois,” Canty said. “We know that this is something that has to be dealt with at the federal level, but the states also have a real opportunity to make a difference. … What we’re looking to do is a $300 per dependent child refundable tax credit. So even if you don’t owe taxes, you would still be getting cash in hand. … These funds would allow households to do what they think is right for their family.”